El Salvador extends state of emergency to curb gang violence | Human Rights News

Measures enacted by the federal government have raised issues over rights abuses with hundreds arrested.

El Salvador has prolonged the state of emergency imposed final month to crack down on gang violence amid issues of human rights violations.

Following a request from President Nayib Bukele, the Latin American nation’s legislature authorised a 30-day extension of the decree, which restricts the appropriate to collect, to learn of rights upon detention, and entry to a lawyer, in addition to permits telephone calls and emails to be intercepted with out a courtroom order.

The measure was initially put in place on March 27 following a very violent weekend during which 87 individuals had been killed in gang-related violence within the nation of about 6.5 million.

Since imposing the state of emergency, greater than 17,000 individuals have been arrested, elevating issues that harmless individuals could also be swept up within the mass arrests and denied due course of.

The brand new decree stated that “safety circumstances persist which urgently demand the extension… because of the continuation of the circumstances which motivated it.”

The extension will start on Tuesday as soon as Bukele indicators on the laws.

On Twitter, Bukele known as the extension “the definition of democracy”.

“Greater than 1,000 terrorists captured on at the present time alone. Greater than 17,000 in simply 30 days,” he tweeted. “We proceed… #WarAgainstGangs.”

El Salvador, one of many poorest international locations in Latin America, has for years suffered from rampant gang violence, with gangs like Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 controlling giant swathes of territory. Their brutality has compelled hundreds to flee the nation.

The state of emergency preceded a number of different measures Bukele has stated are aimed toward addressing gang violence, together with lengthening sentences and decreasing the age of legal duty to 12.

A gaggle of native NGOs additionally lately challenged as unconstitutional a regulation that authorises 10- to 15-year jail sentences for any individual – together with individuals working with rights teams and information media – reproducing or disseminating gang messages or imagery.

The workplace for the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights has raised issues in regards to the crackdown, saying in early April that a few of these arrested “have reportedly been subjected to merciless, inhuman or degrading therapy”.

It urged El Salvador to focus on crime “in compliance with worldwide human rights regulation”.

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