Détention arbitraire de Damián Gallardo Martínez
Le 28 décembre 2018, les DDH mexicains Damián Gallardo Martínez et Enrique Guerrero Aviña ont été libérés de prison après avoir passé plus de 5 ans en détention arbitraire.
Le 4 février 2016, le défenseur des droits humains M. Damián Gallardo Martínez a été placé à l'isolement en représailles à sa plainte (recours d'amparo) contre le directeur de la prison de Jalisco où il est incarcéré, l'accusant de torturer et maltraiter les détenus.
Damián Gallardo Martínez est enseignant et défend les droits des communautés indigènes ainsi que le droit à l'éducation dans les régions Mixe et Zapotèques situées dans les montagnes de Oaxaca. Il a participé à des campagnes en faveur de réformes de l'éducation et il était membre de l'Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca – APPO (Assemblée populaire des peuples de Oaxaca) en 2006. L'APPO a été créée en réponse à la répression violente d'une grève des enseignants à Oaxaca en 2006.
Le 28 décembre 2018, les DDH mexicains Damián Gallardo Martínez et Enrique Guerrero Aviña ont été libérés de prison après avoir passé plus de 5 ans en détention arbitraire. Leurs affaires avaient attiré l'attention internationale, et la libération des DDH et de leurs collègues semble être le début de l'accomplissement d'une promesse faite par le nouveau président, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), d'apporter des mesures de réconciliation et libérer des prisonniers.
Front Line Defenders salue la libération de Damián Gallardo Martínez et d'Enrique Guerrero Aviña après un procès et une incarcération injustes.
(Ci-dessous, photos de Damián avec sa femme et sa fille ; en haut, juste avant l'incarcération; en bas, à sa libération).
On 4 February 2016, human rights defender Mr Damián Gallardo Martínez was placed in solitary confinement in retaliation for his filing of a writ of amparo against the Director of the Jalisco prison where he is encarcerated, accusing him of torture and ill treatment of detainees.
Since December, when a new director was appointed to the prison, Damián Gallardo Martínez and his fellow detainees have had their trousers and underwear pulled down by prison guards and been forced to do squats and insulted. They have also been threatened with transfer to other prisons, which would significantly hinder the legal processing of their cases. In response to these acts of ill-treatment, on 10 December 2015, the human rights defender, along with fellow detainees, filed a writ of amparo (recurso de amparo) against the director of the Federal Centre for Social Rehabilitation Number 2 of “el Salto”, in Jalisco state – CEFERESO prison.
On the same date, the Fifth District Court of Amparo and Criminal Matters of Jalisco, Zapopan (Juzgado Quinto de Distrito de Amparo en Materia Penal en el Estado de Jalisco, en Zapopan) granted a preliminary decision ordering the prison authorities to cease the abuses. In retaliation, the human rights defender was sent to solitary confinement on 4 February 2016, where he will remain for 15 days, for allegedly disrespecting prison rules. A decision on the substance of the matter is expected on 15 February 2016.
Damián Gallardo Martínez was originally arbitrarily detained on 18 May 2013 after his home was raided by seven men carrying military-issue weapons. No warrant was presented by the men who did not identify themselves. The human rights defender was subsequently held incommunicado for 30 hours and reportedly tortured until he signed a false confession incriminating members of the Sección 22 del Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación – SNTE (22nd Section of the National Union of Education Workers) in allegations against him of organised crime and kidnapping. The human rights defender and his colleagues were subsequently charged with organized crime and kidnapping of minors, and detention orders were issued against them on 25 May 2013 and 16 June 2013.
Both detention orders were later repealed, before being re-issued on 28 January 2014. The human rights defender subsequently challenged the reinstatement of the detention order against him, and a decision on the vailidity of its issuing remains pending at the Fourth Court of the Third Circuit of Zapopan Jalisco (Cuarto Tribunal Unitario del Tercer Circuito de Zapopan Jalisco).
The human rights defender has previously suffered serious abuses in detention. On 26 May 2014, he was the victim of a severe physical attack by another detainee in the recreational area of the CEFERESO prison. Damián Gallardo Martínez was warned by the attacker not to report the incident, as it would lead to further attacks. As a result, the human rights defender reported that he had been injured in a fall, while the attacker claimed that Damian Gallardo Martinez had been extorting him, leading to the human rights defender being segregated from other prisoners.
In November 2014, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued an opinion holding the detention of Damián Gallardo Martínez to be arbitrary, and called for his immediate and unconditional release. The UN mandate holders on freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, human rights defenders and torture have previously raised concerns over the physical and psychological integrity of the human rights defender in prison, as well as the multiple human rights violations related to his detention.
The human rights defender has been in detention since 18 May 2013, and, on 26 May 2014, he was physically attacked and threatened in the Federal Centre for Social Rehabilitation Number 2 of “el Salto” in Jalisco state, CEFERESO prison.
On 26 May 2014, the human rights defender was the victim of a severe physical attack in the recreational area of the CEFERESCO prison, committed by another inmate. Damian Gallardo Martinez was warned by the attacker not to report the incident, as it would lead to further attacks. As a result, the human rights defender reported that he was injured in a fall, while the attacker stated that Damian Gallardo Martinez had been extorting him, leading to the human rights defender being segregated from other prisoners. The incident took place while Damian Gallardo Martinez awaits the final decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Zapopan Jalisco regarding his detention in relation to charges of kidnapping and organised crime faced by him and 11 other colleagues, accusations which they deny.
A judge of the Third District found that the human rights defender's rights had been violated in the trial and ordered a review of the judgement issued by the Sixth Federal Criminal Court of Jalisco to detain the human rights defender. The appeal relates to the decision of that same court to uphold its original finding, and a final judgement is expected to be issued in the next few days.
Damian Gallardo Martinez was originally arbitrarily detained on 18 May 2013 following a night raid on his house made by seven men carrying military-issued guns, who did not present the human rights defender with a warrant or identify themselves. Eleven colleagues of Damian Gallardo Martinez were also detained on 17 and 18 May 2013 and subsequently charged with the same crimes. The human rights defender was held incommunicado for 30 hours and reportedly tortured, until he signed a false confession incriminating members of the Sección 22 del Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación – SNTE (22nd Section of the National Union of Education Workers) in the charges against him.
Concerns have been raised since Damian Gallardo Martinez's unlawful arrest regarding his physical and psychological integrity due to the allegations of torture, which have not been adequately investigated. Furthermore, on 19 May 2014, representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, the Attorney General, the Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of the Marine and the National Security Council released a statement with photos of the human rights defender and his colleagues, impacting on their enjoyment of a presumption of innocence.