Friday, December 3

Almost 70,000 signatures and “self-incriminations” to avoid jail for an activist and lawyer from the PAH of Guadalajara

The judicial process against Diego Catriel Herchhoren Alcloea, the activist of the PAH of Guadalajara, is on trial for having photographed and disseminated the images of the eviction of a family with two minors, including a baby. The reason is that in these images you could see the faces of the judicial agents who executed the eviction, which constitutes an alleged crime of revealing secrets. The Prosecutor’s Office is asking for four and a half years in prison for this activist, who will be tried next December for these events, and against this decision the PAH and the Guadajara Anti-Repressive Platform have managed to gather almost 70,000 signatures.

VIDEO | They denounce the eviction “by force and without a court order” of a family with a baby in El Alamín

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The defendant is also a lawyer for various social movements and photographed that eviction from his window, because it was a mother of only 17 years, the father of 19 years and a baby of about five months. When he saw the situation, he decided to take as many photos as he could and after uploading them to social networks, the Court of Instruction No. 1 of Guadalajara ordered that publication be deleted as a precaution.

Despite the fact that the photograph was withdrawn, the PAH released another photo of Judge Cristina Vicenta Guerra Pérez’s car, which not only ordered the removal of the image, but also generally prohibited photographing the judicial agents in similar situations. This prohibition, which was picked up by various media, led to a chain of reactions against the measure, because it meant, in the words of the former Lawyer of the Constitutional Court, Joaquín Urías, an “act of censorship”.

The events date back to March 26, 2019, when a Judicial Commission came surrounded by agents of the local and national Police of Guadalajara to evict a house in ruins owned by the Society of San Vicente de Paúl, in the Barrio del Alamín, where they have executed other evictions in succession. In it lived a young couple, 17 and 19 years old and their baby of a few months. According to the activists, the eviction was done by surprise, and the family barely had time to remove their few belongings, despite the obligation of the administrations not to execute them without a housing solution, “as imposed by multiple treaties signed by Spain, and especially those that concern the protection of the minor ”.

Neighbors and activists of the PAH, surprised by the action, began to protest from the windows and photograph what was happening, and then spread the images on social networks. They considered that “the Administration’s response to this form of protest has been overwhelming: the crime is not leaving a family on the street, the crime is pointing out those responsible.”

“A sword of Damocles on the right to information”

The accusation now being made against the activist who recorded the images is based on the so-called “crimes of revealing secrets”, a criminal figure that serves in this way to silence “any shame of the Administration” and that, according to the Platform in Defense of Freedom of Information, is a true “sword of Damocles” on the right to information.

The Platform for People Affected by Mortgages has launched the # NoInformarás campaign, which to date has gathered almost 70,000 signatures through the platform, as well as a hundred “self-incriminations” that have been delivered to the Examining Court No. 1 from Guadalajara. In them they request the withdrawal of all charges, since, according to the complaint, the exercise of a fundamental right, such as informing society of serious facts such as the actions of state agents, leaving children without resources without a housing alternative, it cannot be prosecuted.

For its part, Amnesty International has communicated its intention to follow up on the case, which it has been examining since it was made public, due to the seriousness of the accusations that are made, the context of the same and the effect it may have on the correct exercise of the right to information.

The “judicial persecution” of this lawyer and activist for having publicized the participation of judicial agents in an eviction of minors in vulnerable situations is “a very serious injury to the right to freedom of expression,” concludes the PAH. “The potential paralyzing effect that this trial may have on journalists and activists who expose the Administration when it violates human rights will undoubtedly have a profound impact on the right of society to know what public officials do in the exercise. of his position “.

In another parallel judicial process, up to 16 people from all over Spain have already declared as being investigated due to the complaint made by the same judge, due to the comments they made on Twitter criticizing the aforementioned ban on disseminating photographs of evictions. The head of the court began this same process after the first tweet from the PAH with the controversial images. This case is investigated in parallel to that of the lawyer and activist of the Platform.

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