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Thu Aug 18, 2016, 09:11 AM

Provincial Supreme Court in Argentina orders woman imprisoned 2 years ago for a miscarriage released

After being held in prison for more than two years in connection with her controversial conviction for homicide, the Tucumán Province Supreme Court has ordered the release of “Belén,” a woman accused of having an illegal abortion, from jail.

In a victory for human rights organizations and feminist groups that have been lobbying for her freedom for months, Justices Antonio Gandur, Antonio Estofán, and Daniel Posse ordered the Third District Criminal Court to immediately release Belén while the court hears an appeal against her conviction.

“Her release from prison is a victory for the tenacious fight carried out by the women’s movement and the roundtable for Belén’s freedom,” Alejandra del Castillo, the organizer of a recent demonstration demanding she be freed, told the Herald yesterday.

The move comes a week after protests in support of Belén were held across at least 30 cities in the country, and after the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Méndez brought the case to Congress demanding that the Argentine state intervene. Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have consistently advocated for her release as well.

Belén, a pseudonym given to 27-year-old defendant to preserve her identity, was sentenced to eight years in prison by a Third District Criminal Court tribunal for aggravated homicide last April after judicial authorities had convicted her for allegedly murdering her baby in a local hospital on March 21, 2014; she was accused of discarding her fetus in a toilet. The defendant argued that she had suffered a miscarriage.

The ruling was challenged by the provincial prosecutor Edmundo Jiménez, who maintained there were serious flaws in her conviction. Jiménez had recommended the province’s Supreme Court accept an appeal by the defendant, stating that Belén’s sentence and the ruling against her was “arbitrary” and should therefore be nullified.

Abortion is illegal in Argentina; but since 1921 the Argentine Criminal Code has provided exceptions in cases of incest, where the life of the mother is in danger, or in cases of rape (but only if the victim is “mentally incapacitated”). Conservative judges in Argentina, many of them tied to the right-wing Catholic sect Opus Dei, have repeatedly tried to nullify this right however.

There were around half a million illegal abortions performed in the country every year, according to Human Rights Watch research from 2009. That figure represents around 40% of all pregnancies.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/220037/tucuman%E2%80%99s-top-court-orders-bel%C3%A9ns-release-from-prison

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Reply Provincial Supreme Court in Argentina orders woman imprisoned 2 years ago for a miscarriage released (Original post)
forest444 Aug 2016 OP
Judi Lynn Aug 2016 #1

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Thu Aug 18, 2016, 11:36 PM

1. So now, "Belén" is released pending appeal. Wow. Surely hope it's not asking too much

for them to let this lady go home, and stay home, where she belongs. She should never have been treated this way.

Once again, the religious fanatics have control, just as they do here, so often, and so widely. Opus Dei, which produced perhaps the worst jurist ever to serve on the Supreme Court, is behind this great idea of sending women who've miscarried to prison in Argentina.

It's time to put Opus Dei in prison.

Thanks for the good news. Hope she gets treated humanely, for once, now, and her supporters can draw a breath of relief.

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