PBI-Switzerland advocacy coordinator Kim-Mai Vu
On June 28, Peace Brigades International spoke at the United Nations Human Rights Council during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the independence of Judges and Lawyers.
That presentation noted:
“We welcome the report of the rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers.
PBI has observed with concern an increase in attacks against the rule of law in Honduras, Mexico and Colombia during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as an increase in attacks against justice operators.
In Honduras, we are concerned that the Honduran state has not applied alternative precautionary measures in cases of defenders in preventive detention during the pandemic, despite habeas corpus, presented by various organizations such as COFADEH.
We also deplore the lack of transparency and publicity in paradigmatic cases such as the hearings for the review of precautionary measures of the defenders of Guapinol as well as during the preliminary hearings in the trial against David Castillo for the murder of Berta Cáceres.
In Colombia, the repeated attacks by the Government on the Special Jurisdiction of Peace (JEP), such as the recent ones following the findings of extrajudicial executions committed by the forces military.
[We also note the] threats and attacks against lawyers representing victims of the conflict or who denounce police abuses in the framework of social protest, such as the recent ones against of members of the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers Collective Corporation (CCAJAR), of DH Colombia and the Committee for Solidarity with Political Prisoners (CSPP).
[And we note] the almost total impunity for the crimes against defenders who are committed to the implementation of the Agreement on Peace; and the lack of application of judgments issued by the Supreme Court, such as the judgment that intended to regulate the right to peaceful protest, are a sign of a worrying impact on the independence of justice and the rule of law.”
In Mexico, the construction of megaprojects continued to be considered an essential activity, at the same time that the legal proceedings filed by the affected communities had come to a standstill. There is also concern about the lack of compliance with the injunctions that order the suspension of megaprojects. This is the case of the gas pipeline, an element of the Morelos Comprehensive Project, which has an order of suspension for an amparo filed by the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land and Water.”
The video of the presentation can be seen here starting at 01:42:35.
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