[WHRD Alert] MEXICO / Defender Claudia Hernández was illegally arrested, tortured and criminalized in San Luís Potosí for participating in a protest against the murder of Giovanni López

Claudia Elizabeth Hernández Herrera

Defense of land, territory and natural assets; cultural rights; and the right to political participation

THE FACTS – On Friday, June 5, defender Claudia Hernández was arbitrarily arrested by state police agents of San Luís Potosí while she was participating in a demonstration to protest the extrajudicial execution of Giovanni López. Yésica Pardo and Roxana Hernández were arrested along with Claudia.

Claudia went to the demonstration as a member of the #YoSoy132 collective to engage in observation and mediation during the march. La mobilization went from the city’s downtown area to the State Attorney General’s Office, and then on to the State Legislature, where the arrest took place upon the arrival of a State Police convoy around 7:30 pm.

The arrested persons were held incommunicado until approximately 12:40 am the next day. During that time, they took photographs of them, took away their cell phones and pressured them to give their passwords, beat them, and subjected them to verbal, misogynous aggression.

Roxana Hernández was released on Saturday, June 6, at 2:00 am after a medical examination, the establishment of a misdemeanor, and the requirement of her signature on a document. But Claudia was taken before the Public Prosecutor, and then at 11:30 pm before the Judge, who charged her and Yésica Pardo with the offenses of doing material damage to the State Legislature and possibly participating in a riot, and then dictated probation for both defenders.

We of IM-Defensoras, the National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders in Mexico, and the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Project (ProDESC) denounce and condemn the excessive use of police force, acts of torture, and criminalization of social protest, and we further demand respect for the human rights, due process of law, reparation of damages, and guarantees that these offenses will not be repeated for defenders Claudia Hernández, Roxana Hernández and Yesica Pardo.

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