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[WHRD Alert] NICARAGUA / Denial of the right to defense and arbitrary prolongation of judicial proceedings against Karla Escobar, imprisoned under precarious conditions affecting her physical and psychological health

September 9, 2020

Karla Escobar

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Defense of human rights

THE FACTS – Last Thursday, September 3, the trial against defender and political prisoner Karla Escobar was arbitrarily postponed. Karla has been criminalized and imprisoned in the women’s prison known as “La Esperanza” (Hope) in Tipitapa, Managua, ever since her illegal arrest last April 30 in Masaya. Her right to defense has been repeatedly violated by the refusal to allow a meeting with her lawyer, who has a court order to see her. Moreover, the lawyer has been subjected to harassment during her visits to the prison. 

Since the end of May, prison officials have encouraged the mistreatment of women political prisoners by supporting threats and harassment from other inmates. Due to the constant aggression by guards and cellmates, Karla has suffered both physical and psychological harm. Her family has reported that psychologically, she has been in a state of depression, with feelings of constant fear and anguish. 

We denounce the violations of due process of law in Karla Escobar’s trial, and the hindrance of her legal defense. It is clear that the judicial proceedings against her and other political prisoners are not aimed at elucidating the accusations against them, but instead at criminalizing those who have mobilized in defense of their rights. We also condemn the attacks that have deteriorated the defender’s physical and psychological health.

We of IM-Defensoras call on the international community to mobilize in support of the speedy release of Karla Escobar and other political prisoners in Nicaragua.