Sunday, October 26, 2014

Top Bolivian jurist states that the military must respect the Constitution

Constitutional Court President Ruddy Flores
Over the last several months, three Bolivian NCOs have been detained following their arrest for their role in leading protests against the armed forces. Jhonny Gil has been detained since May 15 and Franklin and Freddy Colquhoun Sucojayo have been detained since July 2.

When asked about the arrest of these three men, the President of the Plurinational Constitutional Court (TCP), Ruddy Flores, stated that the new Constitution establishes a clear rule: there is no jurisdiction that is outside the bounds of the Constitution, and military law must respect that.

The lawyers for the three men say that the charges against them violate constitutional guarantees because of obstacles in the military justice system that prevent their release. Article 125 of the Constitution provides that any person who is illegally prosecuted, improperly charged or otherwise deprived of personal freedom can bring a "Freedom Action" in the ordinary courts. Gil's lawyer has already filed such an action.

President Flores recalled that the TCP provides guidelines to modify military law so as to comply with the Constitution and respect for international conventions protecting human rights.

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