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ARG

Argentina: Legalising abortion an historic victory for human rights

Law enables termination up to the 14th week of pregnancy Bill was passed with 38 votes in favour, 29 against and 1 abstention in the Senate ‘Today we have grown as a society’ - Mariela Belski Amnesty International welcomes the historic passage of a law enabling the termination of pregnancy up to the 14th week of gestation in Argentina, an achievement that serves as an inspiration to other countries in the region – as well as the wider world - to move towards recognising access to safe, legal abortion. Mariela Belski, Executive Director of Amnesty International Argentina, said: “This is a

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Argentina: historic vote to legalise abortion strongly welcomed

A campaigner for legal abortions in Buenos Aires in 2018 © Amnistía Internacional Argentina

Chamber of Deputies vote means issue now goes to Senate which could ‘make history’ ‘The legalisation of abortion saves lives’ - Mariela Belski Amnesty International has strongly welcomed the preliminary approval of a bill on the voluntary termination of pregnancy passed today by Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies. The bill - which received 131 votes in favour, 117 against and six abstentions - decriminalises and legalises abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Once this period has passed, abortion would continue to be legal in cases of risk to the life or health of the pregnant woman, or in

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LEGAL ABORTION IS CLOSER THAN EVER

Legal abortion closer than ever

#AbortoLegalYa
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Urgent Action outcome: Legal abortion closer than ever

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez publicly committed to present a bill to Congress to legalise abortion.

1st update on UA 163/20

CRITICAL OPPORTUNITY TO LEGALIZE ABORTION

Critical opportunity to legalize abortion

#AbortoLegalYa
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In June 2018, the lower chamber of the Argentinian Congress supported a bill to completely decriminalize abortion during the first 14 weeks of the pregnancy. It was a historic victory for the growing movement in Argentina to legalise abortion, commonly referred to as the Marea Verde (Green Wave), and one which came after two months of public demonstrations as well as public and participatory hearings before the deputies (members of parliament). 

The bill was narrowly defeated in the Senate, the upper chamber of the Argentinian Congress, despite unprecedented numbers of activists demonstrating in the streets in support of the bill and a huge campaign of international solidarity. Amnesty International mobilised members, pressuring governments officials and other influential individuals across the world to speak out in favour of the bill and even buying a full page ad on the back page of the New York Times calling on Senators to vote in favour of the bill. 

Many United Nations human rights mechanisms have urged Argentina to protect sexual and reproductive rights including the decriminalization of abortion in order to guarantee the life, health, dignity, privacy, and life without violence of women and other individuals with the ability to become pregnant. More recently, the United Nations Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice issued a statement congratulating the Argentine legislature for introducing and debating the issue. The letter upholds the significance and urgency of expanding women’s reproductive rights and explicitly calls for the approval of this bill.

After the 2019 elections, Argentina has a new Congress, which means that a bill to legalise abortion can be tabled and voted on again according to procedure rules. President Alberto Fernandez has already made public his support of legalising abortion in Argentina and has committed to present a bill to Congress this year. It would be the first time in Latin American history that a President introduces a bill supporting the decriminalization and legalization of abortion. However, this process has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and there is now concern that the bill may not be tabled. If it is not tabled this year, the bill will probably not be introduced because of the unfavourable political context, as next year is an election year for the Congress. Consequently, we aim to pressure the President to fulfil his commitment and ensure that the bill is presented to Congress in 2020. 
 

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DISAPPEARED DURING QUARANTINE FOUND DEAD

Disappeared during quarantine found dead

FI12020_1
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On 12 March 2020 President Alberto Fernández declared a “sanitary emergency” pursuant to Law 27.541 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A week later, on 19 March, he ordered mandatory confinement for all the inhabitants of the country, pursuant to emergency decree n. 297/2020.

Measures restricting freedom of movement and assembly (social distancing and mandatory confinement) have been strictly enforced. Amnesty International has verified more than 20 cases of unlawful use of force against people allegedly violating the governmental measures to contain the COVID-19 spread.  

After Facundo’s missing, a "whereabouts investigation" case was filed at the Villarino Office. However, following two months of unfruitful investigation and some irregularities and contradictory statements by the police, on 2 July, the family -with lawyers Luciano Peretto Ithurralde y Leandro Aparicio- filed a criminal complaint with the federal justice system so that the forced disappearance could be investigated. 

Four members of the Buenos Aires Province police are under suspicion after a string of contradictions in their statements to investigators. One is said to have claimed Castro left in a truck after being stopped by officers, though he later changed his story to say the 22-year-old departed on foot. Three witnesses, however, say the young man was put into a police vehicle.

On August 1, the IACHR issued precautionary measures requesting the Argentine State to adopt the necessary measures to determine the situation and whereabouts of Facundo Astudillo Castro, in order to protect his rights to life and personal integrity and to guarantee effective search actions through its specialized mechanisms.

On 16 August, after more four months of his fate and whereabout being unknown and several measures taken to find Facundo – raking operations along National Road 3, and tests in two of the vehicles of the police for "possible blood stains", testimonial hearings- local fishermen found an unidentified body in the Cabeza de Buey area. On 2 September, the Equipo Argentino de Antropología Forense (EAAF) positively identified the body as that of Facundo Astudillo Castro. 

On 6 July, The Provincial Commission for Memory (CPM) - an autonomous and independent public body- intervened as local Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture and introduced a petition for urgent action before the United Nations Committee against Forced Disappearance; underlying the contradictions in the testimonies of the police officers involved in the arrest operation that lead to the presumption of responsibility of the officers in the disappearance of Facundo.

On July 10th, the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances called on the state to adopt a "comprehensive strategy" to find Facundo and to complete an “immediate and exhaustive” investigation into the disappearance of a 22-year-old who was last seen being detained at a police checkpoint in Buenos Aires Province (Res. 906/2020)

The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance defines an enforced disappearance as “the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.” Argentina has ratified the convention in 2007 (Law Ley 26.298). 
 

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DISAPPEARED DURING COVID-19 QUARANTINE

Disappeared during Covid-19 quarantine

“The Power of Roots” - Brave Walls - Mexico City
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On 12 March 2020 President Alberto Fernández declared a “sanitary emergency” pursuant to Law 27.541 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A week later, on 19 March, he ordered mandatory confinement for all the inhabitants of the country, pursuant to emergency decree n. 297/2020.

Measures restricting freedom of movement and assembly (social distancing and mandatory confinement) have been strictly enforced. Amnesty International has verified more than 20 cases of unlawful use of force against people allegedly violating the governmental measures to contain the COVID-19 spread.  

After Facundo went missing, a "whereabouts investigation" case was filed at the Villarino Office. Following two months of unfruitful investigation and some irregularities and contradictory statements by the police, on 2 July, the family -with lawyers Luciano Peretto Ithurralde y Leandro Aparicio- filed a criminal complaint with the federal justice system so that the forced disappearance could be investigated. 

Four members of the Buenos Aires Province police are under suspicion after a string of contradictions in their statements to investigators. One is said to have claimed Castro left in a truck after being stopped by officers, though he later changed his story to say the 22-year-old departed on foot. Three witness accounts, however, say the young man was put into a police vehicle.

After more than 80 days missing, and despite several measures conducted to find Facundo including raking operations along National Road 3, and tests in two of the vehicles of the police for "possible blood stains", and testimonial hearings, the investigations on the case has not yet resulted in finding Facundo.

On 6 July, The Provincial Commission for Memory (CPM) - an autonomous and independent public body- intervened as local Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture and introduced a petition for urgent action before the United Nations Committee against Forced Disappearance; underlying the contradictions in the testimonies of the police officers involved in the arrest operation that lead to the presumption of responsibility of the officers in the disappearance of Facundo.

On 10 July, the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances called on the state to adopt a "comprehensive strategy" to find Facundo and to complete an “immediate and exhaustive” investigation into the disappearance of a 22-year-old who was last seen being detained at a police checkpoint in Buenos Aires Province (Res. 906/2020)

The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance defines an enforced disappearance as “the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.” Argentina has ratified the convention in 2007 (Law Ley 26.298). 

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Argentina: New bill to legalise abortion must be passed by congress

Responding to reports that newly-inaugurated Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez will introduce a bill within 10 days to legalise abortion, Mariela Belski, Executive Director of Amnesty International Argentina, said: “Congress must now listen to the demands of tens of thousands of women who have fought to have control over what they do with their bodies. “Access to safe abortion is a human right. Yet in Argentina abortion continues to be illegal, and is only available to women whose life or health is in danger, or where the pregnancy is the result of rape. “Legalising abortion would be a

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Urgent Action Good News: Deported mother allowed return to her family

Vanessa Gómez Cueva, a Peruvian mother of three who was deported 7 months ago received permission to return to Argentina.

1st Update on UA 039/19 Issued 05/09/2019

Urgent Action: Mother deported, children left behind

Vanessa Gómez Cueva, a Peruvian citizen with residence status in Argentina for over 15 years, was deported.

UA 39/19 issued 26/03/2019
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