Indymedia journalists arrested in Ecuador

Update: The 4 have been released; read comments for details.

Four Indymedia activists have been arrested in Ecuador. Charges have not been laid and they are currently denied access to their lawyer. Below is a translation of a press release describing the events (from Spanish).

(RAPID) TRANSLATION OF PRESS RELEASE RE (((i))) ECUADOR

QUITO / ECUADOR / INREDH

Independent journalists victims of arbitrary arrest.

On Tuesday 6th May, 2008, between 10pm and midnight the social journalists Carlos Andrade, Santiago Cadena, Diana Cabascango and Francisco Jaramillo were arrested, members of the Independent Media Centre Indymedia-Ecuador. The case prosecutir, Dr. Francisco Noboa, headed the operation to break in to their houses and arrest them. It's said the prosecutor refused to inform the detainess about the reaons for their arrest, don't want to inform what will be the judge who knows the reason, won't show the detention order (arrest warrant?), not that for the raid.

This action is in violation of Article 24(4) of the Constitution, that states: All people that are to be detained have the right to know in a clear form the reasons for their arrest, the identity of the authority who ordered it, the agents who carried it out and those responsible for their interrogation.

For this reason, INREDH present a denunciation against the prosecutor mentioned (above). The Judicial Police are not permitting the accused to meet with their lawyer, they are in a situation of non-communication, for this reason INREDH will denounce (accuses?) this offense to the internal affairs of the Policia Judicial for them to take sanctions against the officers responsible.

These events make an arrest of conscience, it's to say a detention whose motive is political. The journalistic activities of the detainees are a constant criticism of the constitutional system and abusers(???) of the power of the rights of people. The goods confiscated from their homes were computers, work documents and posters relating to their political group.
This arbitrary arrest will be denounced before international organisations like Amnesty International, the Federation of Human Rights, the World Organization Against Torture and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

We demand that they end the incommunicado status of the detainess, that they indicate the reasons for their detention, that they take action against the Prosecuting Agent and the officials of the Policia Judicial for the violation of the detainess' Human Rights and if the legal suppositions (?accusations?) are not served then they are given their freedom immediately.

We ask for public opinion to maintain vigilance on these events that seem to constitute an attack on freedom of expression in our country.

Sources for this:

 

Comments

They're released

By CH

...see Colonos for more. Haven't translated the new bulletin yet...

More on release

By CH

The following taken from IMC UK

report from Ecuador IMC

a wee opinion comment :-

It is unclear whether their poster of Ernesto "el Che" Guevara which was evidence of their subversion has returned to them. As is usual there are other unsung victims in this ephemera of the struggle faced by those who are inspired to engage in citizen journalism under the global banner of (((i))) indymedia in third world states. The police operation in which the four contributors to Ecuador IMC were arrested, was intended to detain Colombian citizens using false identification. There has been considerable repression of Colombian migrants, imigrants and ex-patriots throughout Latin America, in Ecuador, San Salvador & Honduras since the cross border operation by the Colombian state in Ecuadorian territory to assassinate Raul Reyes of the FARC earlier this year and the subsequent seizing and/or investigations of funds and arms trading relating to the FARC in El Salvador and Honduras. It is clear that a catch-all profile of radical left "subversive" is fomenting repressive abuse of police powers which this latest story of Ecuador well illustrates.

The whole thing should also be understood in its sharp contrasts to last weeks "big story" of Antwerp IMC and its battle with a local Flemish national big game hunter who appeared to want to take a pot-shot at the governer of Antwerp by suing his near relative and Antwerp IMC for damages which accrued to 7,000,000euros. That case was of course "quite laughed" out of court. But inteference in Indymedia sites in the first or developed world comes primarily from such horinzontal social or political sectors or more perversely from the misplaced ambitions of their own contributors. However, in the third world where the real problems, poverty, struggle and fight is fought and more often lost - it is the butt of police rifle and the prison cell which mutes indymedia or any such equivalent voice given to the voiceless.

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