The trial of Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and Jim Monaghan will begin in early October 2002. The men were arrested in August 2001 and have been held in various Colombian Jails since then. They have been charged with the use of false documents and training the FARC. The men will be tried in a one judge no jury court.
The Lawyers for the three men are very concerned that the men will not receive a fair trial and that their case has been prejudiced by public comments made by senior political and judicial figures in Colombia.
As you may be aware Colombia has one of the worst human rights records in Latin America as documented by the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other human rights agencies.
The men are being represented by very committed and experienced human rights lawyers whose lives have been threatened. Many of their colleagues have been killed by Right Wing paramilitaries and State forces.
The lawyers for the three men and the Bring Them Home Campaign (which comprises members of the men’s families and human rights workers ) is urgently calling for human rights groups, political parties, academics and lawyers to attend the trial as international observers. The trial will begin in October and the lawyers expect that it will take place over a few months. We will be organizing a rota of observers to cover various aspects of the trial.
If you are interested in attending the trial please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is mise le meas (yours with respect)
[for more background information see Colombia Solidarity No 7 or contact Caitriona]