For Immediate Release – July 14, 2016 – Lisa Cohen – [email protected] – (310) 395-2544
Salvadoran Supreme Court Rules Amnesty Law Unconstitutional
Path Forward for Accountability for Severe Human Rights Crimes
July 14, 2016 –The Center for Justice and Accountability welcomes the decision by the Salvadoran Supreme Court that found a 1993 amnesty law unconstitutional with respect to the prosecution of serious human rights crimes. The court ruled that the amnesty law blocks the state “to prevent, investigate, judge, punish and offer reparations for serious rights violations.”
CJA Transitional Justice Director Almudena Bernabeu, who has led efforts to secure accountability for a series of high profile crimes during El Salvador’s civil war, said, “Today’s decision marks a moment many of us have hoped for, for a long time, as we struggled by the victims’ side. The victims have been demanding justice since the peace was signed and the brave truth commission report was published. The amnesty law passed only seven days after was a betrayal to the victims’ hopes and the whole peace process. With it, justice was excluded forever. Today’s decision brings back hope for investigation and prosecution both inside and outside the country.”
CJA along with Spanish partner the Association for Human Rights, filed a criminal case in Spain concerning the 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests, a housekeeper and her daughter. The Spanish National court has requested the extradition of defendants in that case from El Salvador to stand trial in Madrid. The extradition request was one of several cases that led the Salvadoran Supreme Court to review the 1993 amnesty law. The Institute of Human Rights at the University of Central America where the Jesuit priests were killed in 1989 filed the appeal on which the Supreme Court ruled.
About the Center for Justice and Accountability
CJA is a San Francisco-based human rights organization. CJA’s mission is to deter torture, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other severe human rights abuses around the world through innovative litigation, policy, and transitional justice strategies. CJA partners with victims and survivors in pursuit of truth, justice, and redress. Visit www.cja.org