46 more  arrests on fourth day of constitution protests

1,124Views 0Comments Posted 01/11/2019

The fourth day of demonstration against changes to the constitution on Thursday, Oct. 31  ended with the arrest of another 46 people, near Plaza 5 de Mayo. 52 were detained the previous day

Through much of the day there had been protests  across the city by professionals, construction workers and university and high school students

Officials from the Ombudsman's Office arrived at around 7:00 pm. "You cannot violate human rights, protest is a right. You cannot stop people who are walking towards the subway," said Anais Quintero, representative of the Ombudsman.

At 7:30 pm, the Transistmica route was closed in front of the University of Panama. A group of students placed barricades and  were met  by  riot police, who used  tear gas and rubber bullets. 

At the  Ancon t the headquarters of the National Police, relatives and lawyers of the detainees  to find detainees were held in an improvised cages

The dean of the Law Faculty of Law of the University Santa María Antigua, former attorney general  Ana Matilde Gómez, said that the police have no evidence that any e of the students in from the college committed acts of violence.

She said that the police made the mistake of arresting the young people through a kind of mesh or network in which they hold those who had not committed any offense.

After 9:15 pm, a press conference was held by National Police director Jorge Miranda and the Minister of Security Rolando Mirones.

Miranda said that a man who launched fireworks will be placed under the orders of the Public Prosecutor's Office and foreigners detained were under Migration orders.  

The rest of the detainees will be brought before a  justice of the peace, who will decide their future, Miranda said. He added that the police used force because of the use of pyrotechnics that endangered the agents' lives.

" When this type of device is thrown into the air it is pyrotechnics and when it is launched horizontally it is a dangerous weapon."

Mirones  said that the man  detained for allegedly attacking police officers with fireworks could be charged with "attempted murder."

"Citizens have the right to protest, what there is no right is to do so violently," he said.

 Ana Matilde Gómez complained about the unspeakable and inappropriate treatment of the detainees, who have them "in a cage."

"They speak of the fact that it is a question of maintaining public order and it is not", since "based on the American Convention, the right to protest is a human right, and freedom of expression can be exercised in different ways and  one of them is the right to meet and gather collectively and publicly to demonstrate, "she added

The detainees will be taken to the peace court, and that place has few staff and the judge is trying to attend in a place that does not have the physical or material capacity to serve so many people´ said Gomez.

What we ask is that they be transferred at once or released with  a personal guarantee, but " the police are uncompromising." 

The lawyer and member of the Iguales Foundation, Iván Chanis, told La Prensa “The police have invented a process .and there is no way to argue, so we can only collaborate, despite the fact that they are illegal detentions.” Chanis said.

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