TUCSON— Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva led 15 members of Congress in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressing their deep concern for the safety and security of human rights activists after the government’s declaration of a state of siege on September 7th. In their letter, the Members called on Secretary Pompeo to advocate for ending the state of siege and make a public statement in defense of human rights workers in Guatemala. The letter read in part:
“We urge you to call for adherence to the rule of law and respect for basic human rights in municipalities where a state of siege has been implemented. We encourage you to make a public statement recognizing the important work of human rights defenders in building a stable, equitable, and safe society; and we implore you to call for an end to the state of siege once the thirty-day period is up as well as the protection of those who have appealed the legality of the state of siege to the Constitutional Court, as well as the Constitutional Court judges.
“The state of siege impedes the work of human rights defenders, with its curfew and its prohibition on meetings, and thus endangers all of those whom defenders work to protect. International human rights organizations have also had to suspend their important work in areas covered by the state of siege. Transparency and accountability suffer under such circumstances, opening the way for more violations of rights.”
Click here for the full letter.
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