GENEVA (5 November 2018) – Paraguay must drop the prosecution of Supreme Court judges who had acquitted 11 peasant farmers jailed over the deaths of police officers during a violent eviction in the so-called Curuguaty Massacre of 2012, a UN expert said today.
The Special Rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers, Diego García-Sayán, said the Prosecutor-General’s case filed in August this year against the three judges, , Cristóbal Sánchez, Arnaldo Martínez Prieto y Emiliano Rolón Fernández, could undermine the rule of law and the principles of separation of powers and independence of the judiciary. “These are fundamental elements in the full enjoyment of human rights,” the expert said.
“It is the obligation of the State to ensure judges be allowed to decide the case before them impartially, based on their interpretation of facts, as stipulated in the Basic Principles on Independence of the Judiciary,” García-Sayán said. The Government of Paraguay also must develop and ensure adequate means against unjustified or improper intrusions in the judicial process.