We categorically reject this arbitrary and unjust actions carried out by the Colombian Security Service (DAS) in the city of Cali.
The investigator was the victim of several arbitrary actions: illegal deprivation of her liberty, prevented from being in communication with lawyers and deportation. Finally she has been banned from returning to Colombia for seven years as “she endangers national security, public order, public health, social tranquility, public security, or that existing intelligence information indicates that she represents a risk to national security, public order, public health, social tranquility, public security" according to the Colombian Security Service.
Christina had been invited by various Colombian human rights organisations that belong to the Network of Solidarity and Friendship with Colombia in order to carry out an investigation into the impacts of human rights violations in various parts of the country.
This case, along with many others, clearly shows the government’s policy of preventing internationals from verifying the serious human rights violations that have occurred under this government
Christina had participated in several accompaniments organised by COS-PACC, the organisation that invited her to Colombia. A delegation of nationals and internationals, including Christina, visited communities in the Provincia de la Libertad, Boyacá, in which Colombia’s Vice-president and the Ombudsman office participated.
- On 1st October 2008, at 5.30pm Christina Friederika Müller, a German citizen was walking in the Plaza de San Francisco, in the city of Cali with a member of the Cali branch of the Solidarity Committee with Political Prisoners and a member of the Yumbo branch of Sintrametal, Union of Workers in the Metal Industry.
- As they were about the leave the plaza she was approached by five people, who without showing any identification claimed to be employees of the Colombian Security Service (D.A.S.). They interrogated her as to her reasons for her stay in our country. Immediately these people took her to the Security Services facilities.
- The lawyers for NOMADESC (Association for the Investigation and Social Action) and for the Solidarity Committee with Political Prisoners went to the Social Services facilities in order to find out what was happening with Christina Friederica. The D.A.S. custody personnel initially denied that they were detaining her. Hours later, Jhon Mario Valencia, a D.A.S. employee informed them that the German citizen was indeed present in the facilities and her status in the country was being investigated in order to determine her entry in to the country.
- Later, Oscar Vasco, the D.A.S. employee in charge of her case arrived. He said that the Head of Immigration for the Security Services had declared that she could be detained for up to seventy two hours without being allowed any contact, including her right to an interview with her lawyer. Her mobile telephone was confiscated. D.A.S. personnel refused to accept documents which would require them to supply information as to the reasons for the deprivation of her liberty.
- Finally on 1st October 2008, at 1:40pm the Security Services deported Christina Friederika Muller from Colombia. This deportation took place ignoring international laws:
- She was subject to the deprivation of her liberty, without a warrant.
- The Security Services refused to communicate between 30th September and the morning of 1st October.
- Christina Friederika was not allowed to have an interview with the lawyer
- Christina Friederika was subjected to extensive interrogation while detained by the Security Services without allowing her to be accompanied by her lawyer.
- On1st October 2008 the Vice-President of Immigration for the Security Services, Lilia María Babativa Velásquez, ordered for Christina Friederika to be deported, without allowing her the right to a defence, nor to give any notice of appeal against this decision.
- Christina Friederika was only allowed an interview with her lawyer 15 minutes before being deported.
These facts that we denounce and condemn represent a clear attack against the work of defending human rights in Colombia. It has a clear expressed purpose of preventing the international community from observing, documenting and denouncing the policies and systematic practices of the Colombian government that threaten life, liberty and personal integrity, as well as fail to recognise economic, social and cultural rights.
We, organisations of this Network, are worried that this policy is becoming a recurring practice. Already various members of the international community have suffered these violations.
Therefore, we call with urgency, for you to address the Colombian authorities, Embassies in every country, human rights intergovernmental and Colombian diplomats, with the aim of calling for:
1. That the members of D.A.S who participated in the illegal and arbitrary detention of Christina Friederika Müller and the employees who participated in process of this arbitrary deportation are investigated.
2. That decree 4000 of 2004 is abolished, which concerns “regulation of the issuing of visas, control of foreigners, and other regulations concerning migration” in relation to the expulsion and deportation of foreigners. This contravenes international law and human rights as leaves the restriction and elimination of human rights (amongst other, those of the right to a defence and due process) up to the arbitrary judgment of administrative personnel.
3. That the national government explains the policy it is exercising against international citizens and organisations, accompaniers and aid workers.
Bogotá, October 1st 2008
RED DE HERMANDAD Y SOLIDARIDAD CON COLOMBIA
FCSPP – FUNDACION COMITÉ SOLIDADARIDAD CON LOS PRESOS POLITICOS
FCSPP – SECCIONAL VALLE
ORGANIZACIONES SOCIALES DE ARAUCA
COSPACC – CORPORACION SOCIAL PARA LA ASESORIA Y CAPACITACION COMUNITARIA
CNA – COORDINADOR NACIONAL AGRARIO
INS – INSTITUTO NACIONAL SINDICAL
FEDEAGROMISBOL – FEDERACION AGROMINERA DEL SUR DE BOLIVAR
CISCA – COMITÉ DE INTEGRACION SOCIAL DEL CATATUMBO
CAMPAÑA PROHIBIDO OLVIDAR
[The Colombia Solidarity Campaign and many groups in Europe support this statement of protest. We recommend that you send a letter to the Colombian embassy in your country. In the UK to email@example.com ]