On Wednesday morning, October 14, a judge issued a guilty verdict in the case of Karla Escobar for the fabricated charges of drug trafficking and illegal possession of arms; furthermore, the public prosecutor is asking the maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a fine amounting to 1000 days of minimum wage.
Karla Escobar has been deprived of her freedom since April 30, when a police contingent raided her home and subjected her to a violent, arbitrary arrest. During her incarceration, Karla has suffered constant physical attacks and threats from other inmates and prison personnel with serious effects on her physical and psychological health. In addition, Karla has faced various irregularities in court proceedings, including repeated infringements of her right to a defense, the arbitrary prolongation of her trial, and the dismissal of evidence presented by her defense.
We of IM-Defensoras express our repudiation of this unjust verdict and the viciousness of the prosecution’s intention to impose the maximum sentence. We denounce the violation of the separation of powers that exists in Nicaragua, where the system of justice has been corrupted and utilized to criminalize and repress the right to social protest and the defense of human rights, and we hold the Nicaraguan government responsible for any ill effects on Karla’s health and her moral and psychological integrity.
We call on the international community to express solidarity with Karla, to become familiar with her situation and the arbitrary treatment she has received simply for protesting and being a critical voice against the government, and to take up the demands for justice and her immediate release.