Against the abuse towards Human Rights defenders in Bolivia
The European Conference of Justice and Peace Commissions -Justice and Peace Europe- raises its voice against the inhumane and degrading treatment that human rights defender, Amparo Carvajal of Spanish nationality and President of the Permanent Assembly of Human Rights of Bolivia (APDHB), is currently enduring.
A citizen group, led by Edgar Salazar, established a parallel entity to perform the same function as the APDHB, and on June 2nd of this year, they unlawfully occupied the premises where the institution for Human Rights defense is located in the city of La Paz. The eviction attempt that took place in June has been sought for a decade. During this time, a strategy of attrition and intimidation has been employed against those representing the Assembly. The aim is to place people close to the government party in the APDHB.
We believe that the government authorities are violating human rights through their inaction, as the police have not complied with a court ruling in favor of granting Amparo Carvajal access to the APDHB premises. At the same time, her already fragile health is being compromised as she sleeps in a tent and lacks access to sanitary facilities, which is of utmost importance for an 84-year-old person. Amparo maintains her continuous presence at the headquarters as an exercise of peaceful defense of the institutions that protect human rights.
Therefore, we URGE the Government of Bolivia to take the following actions:
- Put an end to the use of force and illegality in the occupation of the headquarters of the Permanent Assembly of Human Rights of Bolivia and proceed with the eviction of the individuals who have taken it over.
- Enforce the court ruling and the recommendation of the Ombudsman's Office in favor of granting access to the premises for the representative of the Assembly, Amparo Carvajal.
- Ensure the protection of the individuals representing and being part of the Assembly, safeguarding their safety and restoring their rights.
- Guarantee the independent functioning of a national institution for the defense of human rights, thereby respecting the ratified International Treaties
- Encourage the presence of international observers to safeguard the rights of those who defend human rights.
Justice and Peace Europe (Executive Committee)
Justice and Peace Europe is a network of 32 national Justice and Peace Commissions mandated by their Bishops' Conferences to speak out on the fight against Poverty and for Human Rights, Peace, Reconciliation, Development and the Care of Creation. Spanish Commission for Justice and Peace is one of the members of this network.