Saturday, April 5, 2008

Conditional "Freedom" for Chiapan Political Prisoners

After all of Chiapan Gov. Juan Sabines' rhetoric that the freed political prisoners did not commit the crimes they were convicted of and that justice was done the day they were freed, it turns out he freed the prisoners with conditions. Strict conditions. The prisoners are out on parole, and they have to report to Tuxtla monthly to sign a ledger until their original sentences are completed. This means that a prisoner that served almost six years of his eight-year sentence must report to Tuxtla monthly for over two years.

This is an extraordinary burden on people who Juan Sabines proclaimed are innocent. These men and women were poor before they went to prison, and after being in prison for so long without work they're even poorer. One prisoner's family reported that they lost their home after their breadwinner's imprisonment. The trip to Tuxtla costs time and money that these people don't have--some of them will have to travel fifteen hours every month to comply with their parole.

There are still seventeen prisoners inside, thirteen of whom are on hunger strike, six of them for over forty days.


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