On 15 April, the organizations Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz (Serapaz), the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights, the Fray Francisco de Vitor Human-Rights Center, the Project for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ProDESC), The Inter-Ecclesiastical Commision for Justice and Peace (Colombia), the Associazione Centro di Accoglienza e di Promozione Culturale E. Balducci (Udine, Italy), and Protection International (Belgium) published an Urgent Action that has to do with the harassment, vigilance, and stalking that Alejandro Cerezo Contreras, member of the Cerezo Committee-México and vice-president of Urgent Action for Human-Rights Defender AC, has recently experienced.
According to Contreras, on 13 April, at the close of the forum “Criminalization of social protest: new challenges for human-rights defenders” that was held at the National Autonomous University of México (UNAM) in México City, he noticed that he was being filmed by a stranger from a distance of approximately 50 meters. Later, Contreras and two colleagues of his from Peace-Brigades International (PBI) came to realize that they were being filmed once again by the same person from a distance of about 55 meters; this time, though, he was accompanied by another stranger.
Two days later, Contreras suffered new stalking-episodes on the part of one of the same persons who had been filming him on the 13th, among others. Contreras says that he was followed by people on foot as well in a car, and that they attempted to take his picture.
The organizations that signed on to the Urgent Action made four demands: that the Mexican government “immediately” take “the appropriate measures to guarantee the security and physical and psychological integrity of Alejandro Cerezo Contreras, his family-members and friends, as well as that of members of the Cerezo Committee-México and Urgent Action for Human-Rights Defenders AC,” undertake “an immediate, exhaustive, and impartial investigation into the vigilance, stalking, and harrassment suffered [by Contreras], the findings of which are to be made public, and those responsible dealt with justly,” assure “the application of the demands of the Declaration on Human-Rights Defenders,” and “realize in its actions that which is called for by the pacts and international conventions ratified by México.”
The Urgent Action concludes by calling on “international human-rights organizations” to “express their concern regarding the gravity of the acts and pressure the Mexican government to attend to recent petitions.”
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