Argentina: Human Rights Defender’s Continued Criminalisation For Protesting
On June 16, 2023, the Constituent Convention of the Province of Jujuy, Argentina, carried out a constitutional reform without participation or publicity, and that could threaten the collective rights and the cosmovision of the Indigenous Peoples.
As a result of the protests that followed the approval of the partial reform of the Provincial Constitution, violent police repression took place in the province of Jujuy, with serious irregularities, including arbitrary detentions and the excessive use of force by state agents. The response of the security forces of the province of Jujuy to the demonstrations generated significant violations of the rights to life, liberty, personal integrity, peaceful assembly, to defend human rights and freedom of expression, recognized and protected by international law.
Protests by communities, social and human rights organizations continue in the Province of Jujuy, as the new constitution has not been reversed. Amnesty International has documented that victims of the state repression avoid filing complaints fearing prosecution for their participation in the protests. At the same time, the organisation documented a significant lack of proactivity on the part of the authorities in investigating possible abuses committed by the security forces during the demonstrations.
Alberto Nallar is a lawyer and human rights defender; he unfailingly supported the popular mobilisation against constitutional reform and provided support and legal assistance to people detained during the mobilizations and their families. The crime of sedition of which he is accused is a criminal provision frequently used in the country to criminalise people who exercise the right to social protest, along with obstructing public roads, incitement to commit crimes or resisting authority, among other actions.