Forum points to political persecution in the conviction of former Bolivian president

The Hemispheric Front for Freedom (FHL) forum, made up of parliamentarians, academics, political leaders and human rights defenders from several Latin American countries, expressed this Monday (13 ) his “deepest rejection of the political persecution suffered by the former president of Bolivia Jeanine Áñez at the hands of the government led by the Movement to Socialism in the South American country”.

The FHL, created in Miami in 2020, considers the trial against Áñez and the sentence of more than ten years in prison “closer to being an act of political revenge than an act marked by due process, respect for human rights and adherence to Bolivian laws.”

The former Bolivian president, who took office on an interim basis after Evo Morales resigned amid protests across the country, was arrested in 2019 of March 2021 and faced a trial “plagued by irregularities”, says the statement.

According to FHL, the “evident political vocation e” of the trial against Jeanine Áñez was manifested in the “suspicious speed with which the Bolivian judicial system acted, in the prohibition of the accused to defend himself personally and in the right to health”.

“We reject the act of political lynching, the use of the judiciary as an organ of persecution at the service of the Executive and its official party, and we alert the international community to the systematic violation of human rights that Jeanine Áñez has suffered at the hands of the Bolivian State,” he added.

The Front also urged political and democratic leaders, parliamentarians, human rights defenders and representatives of democratic countries in multilateral organizations in the region to join forces and actively raise their voice against “this regrettable case of political persecution in Bolivia.”

Áñez was sentenced on Friday to ten years in prison for the events that took place between 10 and November

, the day Evo Morales resigned from the presidency Bolivia, and 12 in November, when the then senator assumed power on a provisional basis.

The Arce government and the Movement for Socialism (MAS) in power insist that Morales’ resignation was the result of a coup d’état against him, while his detractors claim it was the result of accusations of electoral fraud in his favor in the failed general elections of 2019 .

Bolivian opponents rejected the sentence against Áñez and criticized the justice system, while Human Rights Watch (HRW) expressed concern about the way in which the case against the former interim president was handled.

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