sunny.png
Friday November 27th, 2020 1:25PM

HRW: Bolivia case against Morales is politically motivated

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Terrorism charges against former Bolivian President Evo Morales appear to be politically motivated and are part of a wider campaign by Bolivia’s interim government to use the justice system against political opponents, Human Rights Watch said Friday.

The rights group released a report alleging violations of judicial procedures, including baseless charges and arbitrary use of pretrial detention, after interim President Jeanine Áñez took power following Morales’s ouster in November 2019. A similar pattern of judicial abuses occurred during the administration of Morales, the group said.

After the report was released, the interim government denied allegations that it is persecuting opponents. Bolivia is preparing for an Oct. 18 vote that was delayed as the country’s strained health system grappled with the coronavirus pandemic. A Bolivian court has blocked Morales from running for a senate seat in the elections, but his Movement Toward Socialism party still controls the congress.

After 14 years in power, Bolivia’s first Indigenous president resigned under pressure from the military and police on Nov. 10, 2019, amid widespread protests and disturbances alleging he was attempting to fraudulently claim reelection. Morales went into exile, first in Mexico and later in Argentina.

Officials in Bolivia’s interim government alleged that Morales, during continuing upheaval after his resignation, gave an instruction in a telephone call that followers should surround cities to prevent food supplies reaching the inhabitants.

“The Attorney General’s Office has the right to investigate, but that statement (by Morales) is not a terrorist act,” said César Muñoz, author of the Human Rights Watch report and the group’s senior researcher for the Americas.

“Morales is a victim of the judicial weakening that he himself started,” Muñoz said.

Human Rights Watch said its report on alleged political interference in Bolivia’s judicial system was largely based on interviews conducted with officials and others across the country in February, as well as the review of police reports, judicial decisions, and other court records.

The interim government denied it was using the justice system against opponents and said Bolivia’s judicial authorities were selected by Morales supporters when he was in power.

“It doesn’t make sense to say the current government controls the justice system or that we use it as a persecution weapon,” said Yerko Núñez, minister of the presidency.

On Wednesday, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Bolivia asked her to investigate whether Evo Morales and his supporters committed crimes against humanity in August by setting up roadblocks aimed at preventing Bolivians from accessing vital health care during the pandemic.

The referral of a case by Bolivia’s rulers doesn’t automatically trigger an investigation by the Hague-based global court, but it does mean that should Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda decide to open a formal probe, she does not first need to seek clearance from the court’s judges.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US marks 9/11 anniversary at tributes shadowed by virus
Americans are commemorating 9/11 as the coronavirus pandemic reconfigures memorial ceremonies and a presidential campaign carves a path through the observances
2:26PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Prosecutors: Similar charges warrant 1 trial in Floyd death
Prosecutors in the case of four former Minneapolis officers charged in the death of George Floyd say the men should face trial together because the evidence and charges against them are similar
2:17PM ( 24 minutes ago )
The Latest: Relatives, Trump, Biden gather to mark 9/11
Former Vice President Joe Biden laid a wreath under First Officer LeRoy Homer’s name at the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, before going to greet some of Homer’s family members with elbow bumps
2:04PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
COVID beds fill up as virus pressure builds in Marseille
All five intensive care beds dedicated to COVID patients are full in the Laveran Military Training Hospital in Marseille, and its doctors are bracing for more
1:33PM ( 1 hour ago )
Central European leaders discuss Belarus, fighting COVID-19
The prime ministers of four central European countries say a new election should be held in Belarus to allow the country’s voters to decide the course of its future
1:13PM ( 1 hour ago )
Germany approves Russian request to assist in Navalny probe
Berlin’s Justice Ministry has approved a request from Moscow for legal assistance in the investigation of the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and has tasked state prosecutors with working with Russian authorities
1:03PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
US marks 9/11 anniversary at tributes shadowed by virus
Americans are commemorating 9/11 as the coronavirus pandemic reconfigures memorial ceremonies and a presidential campaign carves a path through the observances
2:26PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Prosecutors: Similar charges warrant 1 trial in Floyd death
Prosecutors in the case of four former Minneapolis officers charged in the death of George Floyd say the men should face trial together because the evidence and charges against them are similar
2:17PM ( 24 minutes ago )
The Latest: Relatives, Trump, Biden gather to mark 9/11
Former Vice President Joe Biden laid a wreath under First Officer LeRoy Homer’s name at the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, before going to greet some of Homer’s family members with elbow bumps
2:04PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Humanitarian ship takes 27 migrants from Danish tanker
The humanitarian group Mediterranea Saving Humans says it has transferred on board its ship 27 migrants who have been on board a tanker in international waters off Malta since early August
2:02PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Veteran House incumbents cling to seats as districts evolve
Much of the focus in this year’s fight for House control will be on freshmen Democrats who captured Republican-held seats in 2018
1:51PM ( 50 minutes ago )