The European Parliament called for the release of Janine Anez in Bolivia: “we are watching with horror a wave of political persecution”

The European Parliament called for the release of Janine Anez in Bolivia: “we are watching with horror a wave of political persecution”
From the file: An extraordinary plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, on July 23, 2020 (Reuters / Francois Lenoir)

The majority of members of the European Parliament condemned on Thursday the arrest of former Bolivian interim President Janine Anez He asked the Bolivian authorities to release him, his two imprisoned ministers and other politicians, Beside The withdrawal of charges against them for political reasons.

The indictment was passed by 396 votes to 267, with 28 abstentions. And in it Anez and his former aides are considered “political prisoners” and are condemned for their arbitrary and unlawful detention and “conviction”.

Anez has been in preventive detention for more than a month on charges of “coup”, based on allegations of conspiracy, incitement and terrorism during the political and social crisis that occurred at the end of 2019 that led to the resignation of Evo Morales. Presidency of the Republic and canceling that year’s elections amid allegations of fraud.

In this context, the European Parliament affirmed that Nez “fully fulfilled her duty as the second vice president of the Senate, by filling the presidential vacuum” left by Morales, and indicated that the Bolivian Plurinational Court had supported the transfer of powers to Janine Anez.

File image: Janine Anise during her announcement as interim president in 2019 (MEAGAN HANCOCK / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO)
File image: Janine Anise during her announcement as interim president in 2019 (MEAGAN HANCOCK / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO)

In the parliamentary debate on this issue, the European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Oliver Farhelli, confirmed that Brussels has already publicly requested that the accusations leveled against Anez related to the events of 2019 be addressed A judicial process that is “transparent and fair, with full independence, without political pressure, and with full respect for the division of powers.”

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On the other hand, the Czech Vice President of the European Parliament confirmed Dita SharanzovaShortly after the resolution was approved, he said, “We all hoped that the recent elections in Bolivia would represent a positive change and restore peace in such a divided country, but the opposite happened.”

We watched with horror as a wave of political persecution. Let’s be clear: the presidential succession in 2019 was constitutional. EU support, among others, the OAS scrutiny of Janine Anez’s transitional government. “And the Added.

The community delegation in La Paz is in contact with the family of the former interim president and the UN representative who regularly visits ñez in prison. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International also described Anez’s trial as political.

Former president Janine Anez, detained in a prison in La Paz, Bolivia, on March 13, 2021 (AFP)
Former president Janine Anez, detained in a prison in La Paz, Bolivia, on March 13, 2021 (AFP)

In her decision, The European Parliament “expresses Concern about the lack of independence and impartiality of the Bolivian judicial system and the prevalence of structural problems; Indicates that this lack of independence affects access to justice and, in general, undermines citizens’ confidence in the national justice system.

MEPs from Bolivia are calling for “structural changes and reforms” in the composition of its judicial systemAddress the “widespread issue of corruption” in the countryAnd the And also to amend the definitions of terrorism in the Penal Code so that they are more proportionate.

In addition, they asked the Bolivian Attorney General’s office to reopen the investigation into allegations that the Morales government diverted $ 1.6 million in public funds through irregular payments to the consulting firm Neurona.

File photo: People protest on March 15, 2021 against the arrest of former interim president Janine Anez, in Santa Cruz (Bolivia) (EFE / Juan Carlos Torrejon)
File photo: People protest on March 15, 2021 against the arrest of former interim president Janine Anez, in Santa Cruz (Bolivia) (EFE / Juan Carlos Torrejon)

In Bolivia, the ruling party had anticipated this European decision on Wednesday. The House of Representatives, which is controlled by the ruling socialist movement, approved yesterday a announcement about He refused the interference of international organizations in Bolivian affairs. Former President Evo Morales tweeted: “We reject the intervention initiative promoted by the extreme right in the European Parliament that promotes impunity in the face of deaths and gross human rights violations during the coup.”

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From his side, Carolina Ribera, daughter of former President Janine Anez, thanked the European Parliament for its stance. This is further evidence that my mother’s government has been supported and continues to have the support of the international community. We hope that the national government will take this decision with the respect it deserves (…) and will not try to silence him with senseless attacks, “he told the local press.

With information from EFE

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