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UN Rapporteur: Exceptional Regime in El Salvador Hinders Fair Trials



The UN Rapporteur has been in contact with the government on the emergency regime.  AFP.

The UN Rapporteur has been in contact with the government on the emergency regime. AFP.

Experts from the United Nations agency (UN) this Monday backed the “warrantless arrests” of people suspected of belonging to gangs, a “permanent red flag” in El Salvador that hinders fair trials and due process. expressed concern about

Experts have scrapped El Salvador’s exception system, saying “the government cannot trample on the right to a fair trial in the name of public safety.”

Three experts gave lectures. Margaret Satterthwaite, Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Attorneys. Phionuara nee Aoline. Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. and Morris Tidball-Binns, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions.

Specifically, the statement said hearings of up to 500 people, three to four minutes of public defense of 400 to 500 detainees at a time, and large virtual trials “undermine the exercise of defense and presumption.” criticized as a thing. pleading not guilty”, trials in absentia, faceless judges and reference witnesses to the case, elements that “attack” due process.

Experts say the law and emergency regime allow “risks of large-scale violations of the right to a fair trial”.

One of the requirements for the government in applying the emergency system is that people “not be arrested on the mere suspicion of belonging to or associated with a gang without sufficient legal authorization.” be.

On 12 October 2022, they called on the government to report on how it will ensure respect for due process rights, adequate conditions of detention and the proper administration of justice.

Humanitarian Legal Aid today reported confirming the deaths of 144 detainees out of a total of 250 complaints, 92% of which are believed to be innocent people. The organization, citing “unofficial” internal sources of the National Civil Police, reports that 20,000 people have been arbitrarily detained, of which 4,000 have been released.

Legal aid official Ingrid Escobar said, “We know they captured for quota and we even believe there are over 20,000.”

Minister of Justice and Security Gustavo Villatro said more than 68,000 “terrorists” had been captured and 5,000 released during the application of the emergency regime, but these releases fell within the reported numbers. It didn’t go into detail about whether it would be included. number of arrests.

On May 16, Minister Villatolo said, “This is the democracy that President Naib Bukure wants,” and the bipartisan government he called a “bipartisan dictatorship” listened. It pointed out that there was not, and requested a 14th extension. Demands for public safety.

Defense Minister Rene Merino Monroy has asserted that the arrest was based on gang records. “The National Civil Police shared these records with the Armed Forces, which doubled the effect. Why? So with these records, we can determine and know if the person being intervened is a gang member,” the defense minister said at the Legislative Assembly last April.

Source: Diario Elmundo

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