Monday, January 11, 2010

Public denunciation of treatment of political prisoner Liliany Obando


Beyond the Walls
Permanent Campaign in Solidarity with the Political Prisoners


INPEC continues abuse and persecution against LILIANY PATRICIA OBANDO VILLOTA
The Beyond the Walls Campaign denounces to the national and international community the abuse of authority and the persecution carried out by members of the National Institute of Prison and Penitentiary – INPEC – against human rights defender LILIANY PATRICIA OBANDO VILLOTA, political prisoner in the “El Buen Pastor” Women’s Prison in Bogotá, Colombia.

The facts
1. On December 30, 2009 at approximately 5:30pm in the El Buen Pastor Women’s Prison in Bogotá, guards of INPEC under the command of the distinguished[1] ZOILA, carried out an exhaustive search of the various cells of Wing 6 where there are held the political prisoners, and proceeded without any degree of care in the treatment and preservation of the few goods legally permitted to the detainees.

2. In this arbitrary operation the guards of INPEC confiscated a Discman belonging to political prisoner Liliany Patricia Obando Villota, ignoring the fact that the possession of this item is authorised by the rules and by the authorities responsible for this prison.

3. Subsequently, Liliany demanded the immediate return of the Discman and pointed out to the guards that its confiscation constituted a theft but the reply from them was violent. Liliany was attacked by Mrs Leidy Romero (a trainee of INPEC’ school), who struck the political prisoner forcefully of the chest; this was carried out in the presence of several prisoners and the human rights representative of this wing.

4. As well as being struck, Liliany was subjected to an administrative process during which she continued to protest the violation of her rights, however the guard in charge refused to give her a copy of her complaint, informing her that copy “must be requested by way of a lawyer”; in the same manner the guard informed Liliany that she was referring her to a psychologist because, in her estimation, Liliany’s complaints were consistent with those of someone suffering from delusions of persecution.

5. On December 31 2009, on visiting day, Liliany was compelled to attend an appointment with the psychologist, not only limiting the time available on her visiting day but also using a medical intervention against her will as an excuse to subjugate and diminish Liliany.

Liliany is a sociologist and a postgraduate student at the National University of Colombia, a member of the National Unitarian Federation Agricultural Trade Union (FENSUAGRO), a rural trade union organisation affiliated to the CUT [the main trade union peak council in Colombia] in which she was engaged as a defender of human rights of rural workers and peasants.

Liliany was detained on August 8 2008 as part an exaggerated police and military operation, during which she was living at her residence with her mother who is advanced in years and her two young children. Liliany is the victim of judicial setup within the framework of the penal process initiated by means of illegal evidence against Colombian political opponents with the aim of stigmatising and delegitimizing the social struggle of the people.

Liliany has requested home detention on seven occasions and her petitions have been denied despite the fact that as the sole parent of minors this violates the fundamental rights of the Colombian State such as equality, unity of the family and the rights of children.

Liliany’s family has suffered ongoing violations, surveillance, permanent tracking and threats which they have continued to protest.

For her part, Liliany has not only suffered the removal of her right to freedom but during her 16 months and 27 days in jail at the El Buen Pastor Prison for Women in Bogotá she has been subjected to illegal interrogations, stigmatisation, degrading treatment, abuses of authority; this latest incident being a reprisal for the many complaints the political prisoner has presented against members of INPEC.

We demand

1. Immediate release for human rights defender Liliany Patricia Obando Villota and respect for her human dignity.

2. That the Colombian State ceases the persecution, repression and violations of the fundamental rights it has carried out against Liliany Patricia Obando Villota, including subjecting her to psychological treatment as a form of humiliation and mockery.

3. That INPEC immediately returns the Discman, property of political prisoner Liliany Patricia Obando Villota.

4. That disciplinary investigations commence into the abuse of authority and theft committed by guards Zoila and Leidy Romero, for whom we demand sanction and guarantees that there will be no recurrence of the conduct described.

We are calling on national and international human rights organisations, the academic and university communities to support this denunciation and send messages of support and demands to the following authorities of the Colombian state:

President of the Republic
Carrera 8 No.7-2, Bogotá. Colombia
Fax: +57 1 337 5890 / 342 0592.

Presidential Program on Human Rights
Director Carlos Franco.
Advisor Fernando Ibarra.
Tel.: +57.1.336.03.11, FAX: +57.1.337.46.67

Colombian Attorney General
Diagonal 22B (Av. Luis Carlos Galán No. 52-01) Bloque C, Piso 4, Bogotá, Colombia.
Fax: + 57 1 570 2000 (extensión 2017).
E-mail: &

Director of Public Prosecutions
Carrera 5 #. 15-80, Bogotá.
Fax: +57.1.342.97.23; +571.284.79.49. Fax: +57.1.342.97.23;
E-mail:, &

Colombian Ombudsman
Calle 55 # 10-32, Bogotá
Fax: + 57.1.640.04.91
E-mail: &

INPEC's National Director
Teresa Moya Suta
Calle 26 No. 27-48 PBX (57) 2347474 / 2347262
E- mail: &

Director of the National Women’s Prison El Buen Pastor
Cra 47. No. 84 – 25 Barrio Entre Ríos, Bogotá
Teléfono: 6307724 / 6301649 / 6302037 / 2400676 / 6304946

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[1] “Distinguished denotes Prison officers with a minimum service of two years having obtained their “professional qualifications” and met other requirements. Decree 407 of 1994, Article 134
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