PBI-Colombia accompanies CCAJAR lawyers collective at Inter-American Court of Human Rights hearing

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On May 16, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “Last week PBI accompanied @Ccajar during the public hearing held in @CorteIDH [the Inter-American Court of Human Rights] in the case Members of the “José Alvear Restrepo” Lawyers Corporation v. Colombia. See more information about the audience here.”

The hearing took place on May 12-13 in San Jose, Costa Rica.

On May 11, PBI-Colombia also tweeted:

“@CorteIDH [the Inter-American Court of Human Rights] calls #Colombia to judge surveillance and illegal intelligence against human rights defenders @Ccajar whom we have accompanied since 1995. We express our deep admiration and solidarity for their tireless work in defense of human rights and search for justice so that #NoSeRepita [there is no repetition].”

Last month, CCAJAR explained:

“For the first time, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) will try a case involving illegal surveillance and intelligence on human rights defenders.

This is the case brought by the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (Cajar), which has denounced being a victim of persecution practices for more than 30 years, in which its members have been the focus of illegal intelligence activities by different State agencies, stigmatizing speeches, threats, attacks, exiles, smear campaigns, psychological torture and harassment.”

On the first day of the hearing, CCAJAR tweeted:

“In the worst years of persecution we felt that the organization was going to end. Half of the lawyers of @Ccajar had to go into exile. We always appeared on lists of threats from paramilitary groups.”

“The hearing begins with the intervention of the @CIDH. In its merits report, the IACHR found that the persecution of the @Ccajar occurred in a context of impunity and harassment against defenders in Colombia.”

In that article noted in the PBI-Colombia tweet, Rafael Barrios Mendivil, a founding member of CCAJAR, lists seven outcomes they hope from the court, including:

“To provide for the adoption of a comprehensive public policy for the protection and guarantee of defenders, which takes into account the provisions of the Peace Agreement, the proposals of the human rights networks and the guidelines indicated in the written expertise of Lourdes Castro and Leonardo Díaz.”

“If those of us who defend human rights are not protected, what democracy are we talking about?”

To read CCAJAR’s tweets about this hearing, click here.

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