Thursday, August 11, 2016

Free Belén, In Prison For A Miscarriage In Argentina

The following excerpts are taken from Amnesty International UK release "Free Belén, In Prison For A Miscarriage In Argentina"

>> Eight years. That's how long 27-year-old Belén will serve as a criminal in prison. She suffered a miscarriage in hospital when she was 25 and has been held in detention since then.

Hospitalised for abdominal pains
In March 2014, the then 25-year-old Belén went to a state hospital in San Miguel de Tucumán, a city in Northern Argentina, complaining of severe abdominal pains and heavy vaginal bleeding. At the hospital, a doctor told Belén that she was 22 weeks pregnant and experiencing a miscarriage. Belén says she had no idea that she had been pregnant. She was kept in hospital for care.

Medical staff found a foetus in a hospital bathroom and claimed it was Belen’s, without any physical evidence that she was connected with the contents (they did not analyse the DNA to establish a connection with Belén, for example).

A nurse brought a box containing the foetus to Belén’s bedside, claiming it was ‘her son’ and insulting her, Belén says.

The hospital staff reported Belén to the police, claiming that she had induced an abortion, rather than had a miscarriage. Abortions are illegal in Argentina.

[...] Belén was held in pre-trial detention for over two years, awaiting a trial for abortion. The prosecutor changed her charge to aggravated murder for the premeditated killing of a close relative – a crime that carries prison sentences of up to 25 years (whereas the maximum sentence for a woman initiating her own abortion is one to four years in prison).

On 19 April, Belén was found guilty of murder and sentenced to eight years in prison. Her sentence was confirmed on 3 May.

[...] We are calling on Argentinian authorities to free Belén’s immediately and to drop the charges against her for suffering a miscarriage.

[...] Belén's case is making waves. She is one of many, unfortunately, but her imprisonment has mobilised a campaign for justice on her behalf. <<



Germán Rodrigo Cabanillas said...

The Supreme Court of Tucumán decided to free her today thanks to mass demonstrations all over the country!

Germán Rodrigo Cabanillas said...

Vanka said...

Yes, I was very happy when the news reached me earlier today! It is inspiring to see the power of mass demonstration and solidarity in action!