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News > Latin America

Argentina: Supreme Court Overturns Milagro Sala's Prison Transfer

  • Argentines participate in demonstration demanding Sala's freedom in 2016.

    Argentines participate in demonstration demanding Sala's freedom in 2016. | Photo: EFE

Published 15 August 2018

Social leader Milagro Sala is considered the first political prisoner of Mauricio Macri's government.

Argentina’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that social leader and member of the Mercosur Parliament Milagro Sala be returned to house arrest, after being sent to a federal prison in Northwestern province of Salta last week.

Macri Rejects UN's Call to Release Political Prisoner Sala

In the ruling, the president of the supreme court Ricardo Lorenzetti and four other justices  instructed the Supreme Court of Justice in the province of Jujuy to urgently adopt the measures requested by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) “to guarantee the life, personal integrity, and health of Milagro Sala.”

The Supreme Court ruling comes a week after Sala began a dry hunger strike to demand compliance with the IACHR 2017 ruling.  

Last week, Jujuy’s judicial power disobeyed the international ruling and gave the green light to allow the Parlasur legislator to be taken to a conventional prison. Human rights organizations filed a complaint in the IACHR for non-compliance with its resolution.

On Friday, Sala supporters also presented new evidence that her life is threatened after she sustained injuries while being transferred from the prison in Salta to the court in Jujuy.   

'I’ve Come For My Sentencing': Indigenous Activist Milagro Sala

Argentina’s highest court has given the provincial court of Jujuy five days to explain the reasons why it didn’t adhere to the high court’s ruling.    

Sala, leader of the Tupac Amaru organization, has been in preventive detention since January 2016.

She is being investigated for an alleged illicit association, fraud, and extortion, crimes she was charged with days after being detained for allegedly instigating violence during a protest she didn't attend in early 2016.

Milagro Sala is a renowned activist who is seen as President Mauricio Macri's first political prisoner. She created the Organization Tupac Amaru, which provides housing and other services to informal workers and popular sectors, she served as an Argentine legislator between 2013 and 2015 and was later elected by the Front for Victory Party, led by former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, to Mercosur’s Parliament.

The United Nations, Amnesty International and several o5ther human rights groups have demanded Sala’s release and called her detention “arbitrary.”

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