Zapatero, Almodóvar and human rights organizations are calling for the freedom of demonstrators imprisoned for protesting against Milei

“We demand the immediate and unlimited freedom of all those detained on the occasion of the mass mobilization last Wednesday, June 12, against the sanction of the so-called Basic Law.” This is how the letter signed by more than 60,000 people begins against the repression imposed for protesting against Argentine President Javier Milei during the approval of the law dismantling the Argentine state.

The signatories denounce that anyone who wants to protest is exposed to imprisonment, that this right is threatened and has become clear since Wednesday, June 12, when in the middle of the demonstration against the Basic Actpolice arrested 33 people and prosecutor Carlos Stornelli accused them of being terrorists. The ultra government spoke of a coup. Judge María Romilda Servini de Cubría, who investigated the crimes of the Franco regime, released seventeen of them last Friday. Last Tuesday evening, following the concentration in the Plaza de Mayo of relatives and human rights organizations, Servini ordered the release of another eleven prisoners for lack of evidence.

“The majority of the arrests took place more than ten blocks from Plaza Congreso, at a time when people were dispersing after receiving a barrage of tear gas and rubber bullets from the federal forces and the city of Buenos Aires. “People deprived of their liberty have been mistreated during their detention,” reads the document signed, among others, by Rafael Correa (former President of Ecuador), Ernesto Samper (former President of Colombia), José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (former president of Spain), Evo Morales (former president of Bolivia) and Alberto Fernández (former president of Argentina).

In addition, the text was signed by the lawyer Baltazar Garzón and filmmakers such as Pedro Almodovar, Montxo Armendariz, Marisa Paredes, Emma Suárez, Juan Diego Botto and Carlos Bardem. “We strongly reject and demand the cessation of the criminalization of political, social and trade union organizations which, by participating in the mobilization for the executive power, have become “terrorists” who have acted in an “attempted coup d'état”, totally absurd accusations. and unfounded. During the demonstration on June 12, the security forces repressed not only columns of demonstrators exercising their constitutional right to protest, but also national deputies, some of whom were injured by the actions of the state guarantees,” the text adds Judge Servini concludes: “We demand the immediate cessation of this campaign of persecution against those who oppose the policies of the Milesian government and unlimited respect for the rights and guarantees in force.”

Unfounded accusation

The stories behind the repression have left prosecutor Stornelli's accusation that they “incited collective violence, rebelled against the constitutional order and instilled public fear” without support. Images on television and on social networks showed that these were arbitrary arrests and that police suppressed peaceful demonstrators and deputies in Plaza Congreso with tear gas and allowed men in hoods to do their thing, who suddenly appeared, set fire to a car and left no one left. tell them.

A video that went viral was that of María de la Paz Cerutti: the police of the city of Buenos Aires blocked her path as she crossed Avenida 9 de Julio, a few blocks from Congress, the epicenter of the demonstration. Angrily, María de la Paz shouted her full name and document, while a police chief ordered “prison, now.” They held her between several female police officers and threw her to the ground while she did not let go of her red bag.

For Paula Litvachky, executive director of the Center for Legal and Social Studies (Cels), the idea of ​​terrorism is very serious. “There is a deterioration in the public position of the executive and the judiciary. Minister Patricia Bullrich said this protest was a new kind of coup and described the prisoners as terrorists. President Milei congratulated her on the police action against organizations he called terrorists. Never before have those protesting against a controversial law been classified as terrorists or coup plotters. “It's very serious.”

Bullrich heads the Ministry of Security, a position he already held during the conservative government of Mauricio Macri (2015-2019). The protests of 14 and 18 December 2017 against Macri's pension reforms resulted in riots, during which dozens of demonstrators were injured and detained. At that moment you see the embryo of what is now.

Litvachky confirmed that Cels presented material to the UN and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the escalation of the criminalization of protests in Argentina. “It is intended to educate, it is a chilling effect that limits the right to protest and violates international treaties. There is a political decision to show authority: that this law is passed yes or yes, and that the protest is suppressed. It is the brand of this government.”



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