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Friday, July 27, 2007

Advocacy on behalf of Salvadoran political prisoners

On July 2, 2007, during protests in Suchitoto against the imminent announcement by President Elias Antonio Saca of a national policy of decentralization including water and other services, the demonstrators were repressed by the police with rubber bullets and tear gas.

According to reports, around 30 protestors were arrested, including four members of the Association for the Development of El Salvador (CRIPDES) while traveling toward the location of the demonstration. Later, several of those arrested reported being subject to physical and psychological abuse during the arrest and transfer to police barracks.

A report by the Human Rights Office of the Archdiocese of San Salvador, asserted that these detainees have experienced severe abuse. The victims of this abuse were beaten during interrogation, isolated in remote places for questioning, and threatened that they would be thrown from a helicopter during a transfer between detention centers. In addition, one of the men arrested, Patricio Valladares, was hospitalized after the beating he received during his arrest. His injuries, however, have not been acknowledged to their full extent by the prosecutor's office, reportedly in an attempt to protect those who carried out this attack. (excerpt from Amnesty International report and SHARE Foundation reports on the SHARE website)

Numerous efforts are being made within El Salvador and in the international community. We encourage you to act to call for justice for the political prisoners.