In a statement published on July 13, the Coordination for the Freedom of Criminalized Defenders in Oaxaca denounced torture as well as cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment against Human Rights Defender Fredy García Ramírez, spokesperson for the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Peoples (CODEDI), at the hands of custodians in the Tanivet prison, Tlacolula.
They detailed that, on July 10, “between 22:00 and 22:40 a group of guards entered the pavilion where he is found, beat him and took him out; he tried to ask what was happening and they told him “you have no right to speak, we have orders from above”; they took him to a secluded place in the parlor area and continued to kick him, telling him they were orders from above, that he had no right to speak; they left him in that isolated area until July 12. At around noon they took him out of there and put him in a different cell than the one he was in before, separating him from the prison population”.
Upon learning of the facts, the organizations that make up the Coordination for the Freedom of Criminalized Defenders wanted to visit him, but they were hindered from entering. It was difficult to visit him even for his wife. The latter stated that she was able to see him for only 20 minutes “arguing that he was in the punishment area; she was not allowed to enter food and could confirm that there are blows in his face, a burst blood vessel in his left eye, and his back is swollen.” She added that Fredy García also “reported headaches with visible injuries to his arms and legs which are bruised and sore from the blows he received.”
In contextual elements, the Coordination noted that “since February 7, the defender denounced the arbitrariness that occurred inside the prison, and later presented a complaint for the lack of attention to the health of the inmates; since there were no changes or improvements, on July 2 he filed an appeal (…) without having been notified so far of the proceedings in the trial”.
The NGO demanded to guarantee the life and integrity of the defender; to create conditions for him to enjoy dignified conditions and respect for his human rights within the prison; to provide him with medical care; as well to investigate and punish criminal conduct carried out by prison guards “given the fact that such actions constitute the crime of torture, established in the General Law to Prevent, Investigate and Punish Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, as well as serious human rights violations ”.
For more information in Spanish:
Denunciamos, tortura, tratos crueles inhumanos y degradantes contra el defensor de DH Fredy García Ramírez al interior del reclusorio de Tanivet, Tlacolula, Oaxaca. (OSC, 13de julio de 2020)
Organizaciones denuncian tortura contra el defensor Fredy García en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 14 de julio de 2020)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Oaxaca: International Organizations Call for Release of Fredy Garcia of CODEDI (November 24, 2019)
Oaxaca: Murder Attempt on CODEDI Member (September 26, 2019)
Oaxaca: CODEDI denounces military harassment; CNI demands that the repression against its members stop (November 4, 2018)