Liliany Obando is granted conditional bail!

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 27 February 2015

After a seven month wait, human rights defender Liliany Patricia Obando Villota was finally granted conditional bail on the 24 February 2015. She has been under house arrest for the last six months in spite of having fulfilled all the requirements to be granted bail.

The judge decreed however that Liliany’s bail would only become effective following payment of $3.2 million Colombian pesos, equivalent to US$ 1,200 and would be subject to a probation period of 8 months and 19 days, which is the time left on her illegitimate sentence.

Liliany, a recognised Sociology lecturer and human rights defender, was first imprisoned between August 2008 and March 2012, accused of links to FARC guerrillas. She was detained for 43 months without a conviction before being released and then later sentenced to 70 months in prison, the rest of which she could serve under house arrest. She was also handed an astronomical fine of $US 370,000.

In spite of having fully complied with all of the terms of her release from prison, before the house arrest was implemented, she was imprisoned again on the 5th August 2014. After enduring a period of 15 days in prison and staging a six day hunger strike, Liliany was returned home to serve out her house arrest.

For Liliany to be granted conditional bail now, seven months later, is a small but important victory and this has been achieved thanks to the national and international solidarity that has been shown to Liliany at all times. Over the last seven months huge efforts have been made including a massive campaign to send her letters of support and the intervention of trade unions, human rights lawyers and numerous parliamentarians on her behalf.

Justice for Colombia will continue to support Liliany and campaign for justice on her behalf until she obtains her freedom, which at the moment will not be for another 8 months and 19 days, and after the exorbitant six-figure fine imposed as part of her sentence is removed.

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