Today, it has been one year since Zara Alvarez was illegally arrested on Oct 30, 2012. Yet, the human rights defender continues to face two fabricated charges of murder and robbery in band, suffers the separation from her four-year-old daughter and the daily hardship of a life in prison. The separation of mother and child became even more painful when Zara was transferred from the Cadiz City Jail to the Negros Occidental District Jail on August 16 and again to the Bacolod City District Jail on October 2, both jails are about 70km away from Cadiz. Visits became more difficult and more seldom as every visit involves a lot of time and financial resources. Yet, Zara’s prison conditions also worsened.
As a “newcomer” in the Bacolod City District Jail, she is being padlocked for two months, only allowed to leave the cell to receive visitors. Currently she shares this cell with 15 other women. They sleep on the floor, no running water, no separate wash room and toilet. As a consequence, she now suffers from a strong cough, allergies and diarrhea.
Despite these trials, we are confident that truth will reveal and justice prevails. As the venue of the murder case has transferred too, we are hopeful that this will add to the independence and impartiality of the court proceedings, exposing the political repression behind the systematic filing of fabricated charges against her and against many more, resulting in more than 450 political prisoners nationwide.
One year after Zara’s arrest, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support, your prayers, your postcards and letters and the many pictures we received for tomorrow’s anniversary. Please continue walking with us on this journey, calling for Justice and for an End to fabricated charges against activists and human rights defenders!
Please continue to join us calling her home! Please see below Zara’s letter to the President and the result of the picture campaign! Feel free to circulate both!
Free ZARA Now!
End fabricated charges against human rights defenders and activists!
Warm regards and wishes,
Free Zara Alvarez Movement
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