Monday, August 18, 2014

Liliany Obando Taken Back into Custody


Liliany Obando and Miguel Angel Beltran, two academics and human rights defenders, both victims of repression in Colombia
Human rights defender and peace activist, Liliany (Lily) Obando, was been taken back into custody on August 5, 2014. She has also declared that starting at 10am on Saturday she will begin a hunger strike in protest of her treatment, and to demand her release from this unjust detention.

The International Network in Solidarity with the Political Prisoners (of Colombia) which includes the Alliance for Global Justice is following the situation closely.  Details are still not clear, but as far as we know, she is not facing new charges, but has been jailed again after a period of home detention.  Apparently the time she spent in home detention is not being counted toward her sentence.  We are very worried that if she is returned to the Buen Pastor Women's Penitentiary that she will be targeted for abuse and retribution by prison personnel and prisoners connected to paramilitaries. Currently she is being jailed in a holding cell at the District Attorney's office in the Paloquemao section of Bogotá. Our hope is that she will be returned to home detention rather than face further time in Colombia's US funded and advised prison system. Even more, what we hope for and insist on is that the sentence be commuted and that Lily receive unconditional freedom both from the prison cell and from home detention.  We are particularly concerned about the hardship and suffering this poses for Lily's family, given that she is a single mother and head of household.

Lily was first arrested in August, 2008 and charged with raising funds for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP) and with rebellion.  The fund raising charge was thrown out after it was shown that the so-called evidence had been tampered with by agents of the Colombian police. Furthermore, she was accused of raising funds for the FARC-EP during an international labor tour.  However, all those funds were accounted for, going to their legitimate destination, to help the Fensuagro union of agricultural workers. The charge of rebellion is a notorious catch-all charge that has been used to imprison thousands of unionists, student activists and human rights defenders.  For us in the United States, it is important to remember that the US not only funds war and repression in Colombia, but that it also has funded prison construction and advised the restructuring of a penitentiary system that now holds some 10,000 political prisoners.

Phoenix recharged, “Farcpolitics” again (here)
by Liliany Obando,  August 8, 2014

One of Many Saturdays in Prison – Colombia (here)
by Camilo Insuasty-Obando August 15, 2014 
(Camilo is an independent journalist  Liliany's son.) 

Freedom for Liliany Obando ~> On Facebook (here)