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ATTORNEY URGENT ALERT

 

COLOMBIA

 

27 November 2009

Increasing levels of surveillance and intimidation against

Jorge Eliecer Molano Rodriguez

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a lawyer for human rights organisations such as the Sembrar Organisation.

 

Source :  

Frontline an FIDH

 

 

Jorge Eliecer Molano Rodriguez,  a lawyer for human rights organisations such as the Sembrar Organisation, the Nomadesc Association, la Corporación Jurídica Utopía (Legal Utopia Organisation) y Fedeagromisbol, has been subject to increasing levels of surveillance and intimidation.

Jorge Eliecer Molano Rodriguez represents the family members of the victims of the Palace of Justice massacre; the February 21st, 2001 massacre against the Peace Community of San José de Apartado; espionage by the Administrative Security Department (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad – DAS) of organizations, human rights defenders and magistrates; the extrajudicial executions of Jhonny Silva Arangueren and Alejandro Uribe Chacón; Operation Dragón; false positives in San José del Guaviare, Sur de Bolívar and Sur del Cesar; and the legal proceedings against Fernando Londoño Hoyos, Germán Vargas Lleras and Francisco Santos Calderón.

From 23 till 27 November 2009, on three occasions, unknown persons, dressed in plain-clothes, had gone to the reception of the residential complex in which the lawyer Jorge Eliecer Molano Rodriguez lives and have tried to gain access to his home. The persons refused to identify themselves or to present documents, and when the watchman on duty tried to contact the apartment to see if Jorge Eliecer Molano was present and wanted to see them, the visitors left suddenly saying that they would try to contact him again later.

Jorge Eliecer Molano Rodriguez provides also legal representation to victims of human rights violations, such as the families of those killed in the massacre in the Comunidad de Paz de San José de Apartado (Peace Community of San José de Apartado).

In recent months Jorge Eliecer Molano's offices have been under surveillance by unknown persons in plain-clothes. The lawyer's mobile telephone has been tapped since 2004, reportedly by the DAS, as part of a general practice of surveillance of human rights defenders, magistrates and political leaders. During the past month, Jorge Eliecer Molano has reported that interference with the telephone has increased. He has noticed strange noises and his calls are routinely disconnected.

In addition, numerous comments about Jorge Eliecer Molano Rodriguez have been posted on internet forums. These have included comments such as: “Me dirijo exclusivamente al vulgar y desvergonzado eduarda (jorge molano) para manifestarle mi asco, mi repugnancia. huele a terrorista, a apátrida, a dinero de los infelices secuestrados, que le abonan seguramente cada quincena sus patroncitos del monte. si tiene familia, seguramente que caminan cabizbajos. me imagino que usted no sabe qué es honor” (I address myself only to the vulgar and shameless Eduardo [Jorge Eliecer Molano] to demonstrate my disgust, my repugnance. He smells like a terrorist, an unpatriotic person, with money from unhappy hostages whose bosses on the mountain probably paid him every fortnight. If he has a family, surely they walk crestfallen. I imagine that he doesn't know what honour is). The following text is repeated on several internet pages: “Queremos dejar constancia de que si algo nos sucede a nosotros o a algunos de nuestros familiares, responsabilizamos a la juez y a su asesor el abogado Jorge Molano, que nuestra sangre caiga sobre estos personajes” (We want to state that if anything happens to us or our families, we place responsibility upon the judge and her advisor, the lawyer Jorge Molano, that our blood falls on those persons). The author of these statements signs off as Mr Alberto Acosta, which is the name of a retired officer of the National Army.

Jorge Eliecer Molano's partner has also been the subject of repeated followings in the centre and north of Bogotá. On the 7 September 2009 at 11.00am, upon leaving a meeting at the Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo (José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers' Collective), she noticed a man begin to follow her.  

 

TAKE ACTION!


REQUESTED ACTION :

 

Please send letters to the following officials. You can write in English or Spanish; tell them that you are concerned for the safety of Jorge Molano and that you request urgent and thorough action to protect him and his family so that he can continue to carry out his courageous and important work.

ALVARO URIBE VELEZ
Presidente de la República
Carrera 8 No. 7 -26 Palacio de Nariño Bogotá
Fax. 5662071
auribe@presidencia.gov.co

FRANCISCO SANTOS
Vicepresidente de la República
Carrera 8 No.7-57 Bogotá D.C.
fsantos@presidencia.gov.co

FABIO VALENCIA COSSIO
Ministro del Interior y de Justicia
Avenida El dorado con carrera 52 CAN Bogotá D.C.
Fax. 2221874
ministro@minjusticia.gov.co

GUILLERMO MENDOZA
Fiscal General de la Nación
Diagonal 22B No. 52-01 Bogotá D.C.
Fax. 570 20 00
contacto@fiscalia.gov.co
denuncie@fiscalia.gov.co

WOLMAR ANTONIO PEREZ ORTIZ
Defensor del Pueblo
Calle 55 No. 10 – 32 Bogotá D.C.
Fax. 640 04 91
defensoria@defensoria.org.co
secretaria_privada@hotmail.com

ALEJANDRO ORDOÑEZ MALDONADO
Procurador General de la Nación
Cra. 5 No.15 – 80F Bogotá D.C.
anticorrupción@presidencia.gov.co
reygon@procuraduría.gov.co

CARLOS FRANCO
Programa Presidencial de Derechos Humanos
de Derecho Internacional Humanitario.
Clle 7 N° 5 – 54 Bogotá D.C.
Fax. 337 46 67
cefranco@presidencia.gov.co
fibarra@presidencia.gov.co

 

Se ruega escribir también a las Representaciones Diplomáticas de Colombia en sus respectivos países.

 

Your Excellency,

 

I am very  concerned by the fact that my  colleague  Mr Jorge Eliecer Molano Rodriguez, Eliecer Molano has been recently subject to increasing intimidation.

Jorge Eliecer Molano  Rodriguez   provides legal representation to victims of human rights violations, such as the families of those killed in the massacre in the Comunidad de Paz de San José de Apartado (Peace Community of San José de Apartado). 

Jorge Eliecer Molano  Rodriguez   also serves as a judicial advisor to the Corporación Sembrar, Asociación Nomadesc, Corporación Jurídica Utopía y Fedeagromisbol.

 According to information received  from  FIDH, on 1 December 2009, Jorge Eliecer Molano Rodriguez’s bodyguards were informed that during the past week, on three occasions, individuals dressed as civilians arrived at the reception desk of the building where Molano lives, asking to be let in to his apartment. These individuals refused to identify themselves, and when the guard attempted to call the apartment to verify the presence of Molano Rodriguez the visitors left hurriedly, indicating that they would call him later. 

In recent months Jorge Eliecer Molano's offices have been under surveillance by unknown persons in plain-clothes. The lawyer's mobile telephone has been tapped since 2004, reportedly by the DAS, as part of a general practice of surveillance of human rights defenders, magistrates and political leaders. During the past month, Jorge Eliecer Molano has reported that interference with the telephone has increased. He has noticed strange noises and his calls are routinely disconnected. 

 Moreower, he cellular telephone of Molano Rodriguez has been tapped since 2004, as part of the espionage against human rights defenders, high court magistrates, and political leaders carried out by the DAS.

During the last month interference in Molano Rodriguez’ telephone communications has been notable, including strange noises and the recurring cut-off of calls.

In previous months the Ministry of the Interior and the DAS have been informed of the surveillance being carried out at Molano Rodriquez’s office by individuals dressed as civilians who keep watch on his movements

In response to Molano Rodriguez’s involvement in the hearings in the cases against various officials of the Colombian Army for the forced disappearances of 11 people in the events of the Palace of Justice on the 6th and 7th of November, 1985, many comments have been published on mass media websites. The comments against Molano Rodriguez include, “I refer exclusively to the vulgar and shameless eduardo( jorge molano) in order to express my disgust, my repugnance. He smells like a terrorist, like unpatriotic person, like the money of the poor kidnapped people, which his bosses in the mountains surely pay him every two weeks [translator’s note: this is an inference of payment from the guerrilla]. If he has a family, they must walk with their heads lowered. I bet you don’t even know what honor is.”

In addition to this, on various webpages the following text appears: “We want to state that if something happens to one of us or to our families, we take responsibility for the judge and her advisor the lawyer Jorge Molano, that our blood falls on those people,” written by someone identified as Alberto Acosta, who it seems ia a retired official of the Colombian Army.

Molano Rodriguez’ partner has been the object during the last several months of repeated and visible surveillance in the center and North of Bogota. On the 7th of September around 11am as she left a meeting in the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyer’s Collective and began to walk north down 7th Avenue, she noted that a tall, robust man with light-brown short hair and sharp features dressed in a white shirt with blue strips and jeans began to follow her. Noting that she was being tracked, she decided to enter a shop full of people where she was able to hide amongst all the people. The man entered and looked for her, but upon not seeing her left by another door.

The 14th of September around 7pm, she was once again the object of following by a burly man who wore black pants, a light-colored jacket, black shoes, was dark-skinned, had black hair, a round face and a large nose. The man visibly followed her for several blocks.


I believe that the surveillance and intimidation of Jorge Eliecer Molano and his family are directly linked to his work as a lawyer in the defence of human rights, in particular his pursuit of justice for victims of human rights violations in Colombia. I see this as forming part of an ongoing pattern of harassment against Jorge Eliecer Molano, and fears for his physical and psychological integrity and security.

I urge the Colombian authorities to:

1. Carry out an immediate, impartial and thorough investigation   in order to determine the persons responsible for these acts of persecution and harassment described in this urgent action, and that they be punished in an exemplary manner.

2. Immediately   adopt, in an agreed upon manner, efficacious and immediate measures for real and effective protection of the lawyer and human rights defender JORGE ELIECER MOLANO RODRIGUEZ and his family that allow him to fully carry out his work.;

3. Ensure that all human rights defenders in Colombia are free to carry out their legitimate human rights work without fear of restrictions or reprisals.

Yours sincerely

 

 

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