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  • Julian Gil talks from prison about the danger faced by inmates amid the pandemic, Colombia, Apr. 13, 2020.

    Julian Gil talks from prison about the danger faced by inmates amid the pandemic, Colombia, Apr. 13, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @RedRedHer

Published 25 November 2020
Opinion

"We see that justice in this country is in a critical state and it is not something recent, but it is a process that has taken several years," he stressed.

The social activist and former Technical Secretary of Colombia's Peoples' Congress (CDP) Julian Gil was acquitted on Tuesday of charges on the promotion of rebellion that was filed against him in 2018.

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Gil remained in jail for 900 days and was imprisoned along with CDP members Juseff Morales Betancourt and Harry Alejandro Gil. According to human rights organizations, several irregularities were committed during his judicial process.  

"The Attorney General's Office, through the Organized Crime Unit, perpetuates the practice of State terrorism by imprisoning social fighters and associating their activity with criminal acts," CDP Technical Secretary Angelica Orjuela said.

"The Prosecutor's Office... affirmed, without any foundation, that there exists a relationship between social leaders and criminal structures, arguing that they set bombs and are a danger to society."

"Protests at Bogota's Court headquarter pending the resumption of the trial against the social leader Julian Gil victim of a false judicial positive."

The Prosecutor's Office accused Julian Gil of belonging to the National Liberation Army (ELN) and charged him with carrying weapons and receiving, transporting, and trafficking explosives. On 19 June 2018, he was transferred to Bogota's maximum-security prison La Picota 

An oral trial was scheduled for April 2020 but as a result of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hearings were delayed.

"I suffered persecution about a year before my capture, and intimidation by the police on repeated occasions. We see that justice in this country is in a critical state and it is not something recent, but it is a process that has taken several years," Gil said.

"The prosecution clearly defends the interests of a certain class. It is no secret that it defends the interests of the wealthy, even the paramilitaries themselves." 

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