Target: Jesús Murillo Karam, Federal Attorney General
Goal: Ensure that eleven detained protesters in Mexico have access to legal representation and medical care and are safe from torture
Eleven protesters calling for an investigation into the recent forced disappearances of students in Mexico have been arrested, detained, and charged with serious crimes ranging from criminal association to “attempted homicide and mutiny,” Amnesty International reports. Sign the petition and demand justice for the detained protesters.
Following their arrests, the protesters were sent to high-security prisons far away from the protest and their homes, making it difficult for them to contact their families or secure legal representation. Furthermore, the authorities denied the prisoners access to lawyers of their choice for two days after their arrests, Amnesty reports.
All eleven detainees allege that they have been ill-treated while in custody, and legal representatives who visited them in prison noted that the detainees “had suffered blows to their faces, hemorrhaging in their eyes and cuts on their arms,” evidence which would appear to corroborate their allegations.
International human rights standards strictly prohibit torture and ill-treatment of prisoners, and fair trial standards state that all prisoners are entitled to legal representation of their choice. The detained protesters must be guaranteed safety from further ill-treatment and granted the medical care and legal representation to which they are entitled. Furthermore, the Mexican government must launch a full and impartial investigation in the detainees’ allegations of torture and bring those responsible to justice.
Dear Attorney General,
I am writing to urge you to immediately investigate allegations of torture brought by eleven detained protesters against prison authorities. I also urge you to look into the protesters’ cases and ensure that either the charges are promptly dropped or the detainees are offered a fair trial.
The detainees were arrested following a protest in Mexico City calling for action in the case of disappeared students in Ayotzinapa. They were charged with serious crimes ranging from criminal association to “attempted homicide and mutiny,” Amnesty International reports. Following their arrests, they were moved to far-off high security facilities that make it difficult for them to contact lawyers and/or family members. They were also denied legal representation of their choice for two days following their arrests.
Perhaps the most troubling fact, however, is that all eleven detainees have made allegations of torture and ill-treatment against prison authorities. Legal representatives who have met with the detained protesters have observed physical evidence–including “blows to their faces, hemorrhaging in their eyes and cuts on their arms”–that corroborates their stories.
Torture is unacceptable under any circumstances and is prohibited by international human rights agreements. I demand that the detained protesters be protected from torture and ill-treatment, that an immediate investigation be made into their allegations, and that they be guaranteed access to any medical care or legal assistance they may require.
Furthermore, peacefully protesting is not a crime. I therefore urge you to either promptly try the protesters for any legitimate criminal violations or else release them immediately and unconditionally.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: jaggededge27 via Flickr