Antécédents de l'affaire: Paulina Muñoz Samaniego
Le 30 juillet 2015 la défenseuse des droits humains Mme Paulina Muñoz Samaniego a porté plainte contre l'intimidation continue dont elle est la cible depuis huit mois. Plusieurs incidents ont poussé la défenseuse à porter plainte, notamment une série de messages menaçants déposés chez elle, un appel téléphonique passé à son père, et le piratage de son e-mail professionnel et de la page Facebook de son organisation.
Paulina Muñoz Samaniego défend les droits des femmes et travaille avec le Colectivo de Mujeres Acción Política depuis 2000. Elle travaille aussi activement pour sensibiliser le public au sujet de l'impact des accords de libre échange commercial sur les groupes vulnérables en Équateur. Elle est membre du réseau d'organisations sociales nommé Ecuador Decide, qui s'oppose aux actuelles négociations des accords de libre échange entre l'Équateur et l'Union européenne (UE).
On 30 July 2015, human rights defender Ms Paulina Muñoz Samaniego filed a criminal complaint concerning the continuing intimidation she has been subjected to for the past eight months. Among the incidents that motivated the human rights defender to file the complaint were a series of threatening notes sent to her house, a warning phone call made to her father and the hacking of her work e-mail and her organisation's facebook page.
The human rights defender has been the victim of an ongoing intimidation campaign for the past eight months. On 27 October 2014, Paulina Muñoz received the first of a series of intimidatory notes to her home in which it warned her that she was under surveillance. Following that episode, Paulina Muñoz started to receive alerts from her email provider of unusual activity and remote access to her Ecuador Decide e-mail. In November 2014, she also became aware that Ecuador Decide's facebook page had been hacked and offensive messages were being sent from that page by unknown individuals.
On 28 February 2015, the human rights defender attended a conference organised by Confederación Kichwa del Ecuador (ECUARUNARI), during which she denounced the possible negative consequences that the adoption of a free trade agreement between Ecuador and the EU, in its current format, could have for local communities. Three days after the event, she received an anonymous note referring to her intervention at the conference and saying “Aun tienes oportunidad, solo avísanos, sabes a quien dirigirte, arregla tu vida, tu economía, la de tu padre, de tu familia” (“while you still have the opportunity, just let us know, you know who to reach out to, fix your life, your finances, those of your father and your family”).
Following the conference, Paulina Muñoz Samaniego decided to leave the country for a period of three months. A few days after her return to Ecuador, on 25 June 2015, she was verbally attacked in the street by an unknown woman while on her way to work. At the same time, a man ran past and handed her flowers with a note containing another warning. A few days later, in the first week of July, an unknown person called the human rights defender's father, who is 83 years old. The caller told him that Paulina Muñoz Samaniego needed to be helped, but was not letting anyone do so.