Friday, December 19, 2008

Defend women’s rights activists in Nicaragua


Defend women’s rights activists in Nicaragua

6 November 2008, 05:22PM

Nicaraguan women's vigil supporting therapeutic abortion© AP-PA Photo/Esteban Felix
Nine women human rights defenders are facing legal proceedings for their assistance of a nine-year-old Nicaraguan girl, Rosita, who was raped by her step-father and made pregnant in 2003 and who obtained a legal abortion in Nicaragua.

At age 11, Rosita became pregnant again and has given birth. In November 2007, her step-father was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
The complaint against the nine women was brought in October 2007 by a Church-backed organisation, the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights.
Despite many professionals and officials being involved, the complaint has only been brought against nine women - Ana María Pizarro (doctor), Juanita Jiménez (lawyer), Lorna Norori (psychologist), Luisa Molina Arguello (sociologist), Martha María Blandón (psychologist), Martha Munguía (sociologist), Mayra Sirias (teacher), Violeta Delgado (project manager) and Yamileth Mejía (psychologist).

Amnesty International, alongside many others, believe this is motivated by opposition to the women’s views on women’s rights and their activism. All nine women are well-known women’s rights defenders who have extensive experience in sexual health issues, domestic violence, sexual abuse and women's and children's rights.

A 2003 investigation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office into the provision of the abortion found that no crime had been committed. Those who authorised the abortion, in consultation with her family, believed they were saving her life.
The nine women have remained in legal limbo for over a year despite Nicaraguan law stating that the Public Prosecutor’s Office has three months in complex cases to formally declare whether to keep the complaint open or to close it for lack of evidence.

Points for your communication - YOU CAN SIGN PETITION AT... http://www.amnesty.org.au/centre/action/19045/

Please sign the following petition to the President of Nicaragua.
Dear President
I am writing to express concern that the complaint against Ana María Pizarro, Juanita Jiménez, Lorna Norori, Luisa Molina Arguello, Martha María Blandon, Martha Munguia, Mayra Sirias, Violeta Delgado and Yamileth Mejia remains open. I ask the Public Prosecutor’s Office to either close the complaint or bring charges in accordance with international fair trials standards.
I would like to stress the important role that women’s organisations have played in Nicaragua in improving access to sexual health care services, raising awareness of sexual health issues and HIV/AIDS, combating domestic violence, working with survivors of sexual abuse and promoting women’s rights.
I urge the Nicaraguan authorities to recognise the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders. I further urge you to ensure that they have the right to carry out their peaceful human rights work without obstacles or fear of reprisals, as set out in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
I trust you will do all that is within your power to rectify this violation of human rights.
The petition will be delivered to
President of NicaraguaDaniel Ortega SaavedraReparto El CarmenCostado Oeste del Parque El CarmenManagua, Nicaragu

1 comment:

Chrisy said...

Thanks for sharing this info and link. This is the time of year for us to remember others less fortunate and to do what we can even if it seems so little.

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