The young Salvadoran, who was jailed for 30 to 50 years for homicide after losing her baby, was acquitted on Monday, said one of her lawyers, in this country where the anti-abortion legislation is one of the strictest in the world . The prosecution had charged her with a 40-year prison sentence for homicide aggravated by negligence.
Absuelta !!! #JusticiaParaEvelyn if get pudo !!!!- Bertha María Deleón (@berthamariaD) August 19, 2019
"Acquitted !!!, Yes, we succeeded," Bertha Maria Deleon, the lawyer of 21-year-old Evelyn Hernandez, who always explained that her baby was stillborn, wrote on Twitter. "I am happy," said the young woman leaving the court in Ciudad Delgado, northeast of San Salvador.
Thirty-three months in prison
"Thanks to God, justice has been done, and I thank you all who have come here," Evelyn Hernandez told the demonstrators waiting outside the courthouse. A hundred women gathered on the scene let burst their joy: "Attention, attention, the feminist fight advances in Latin America", they chanted.
An absurd courthouse of cargos to Evelyn Hernández, for which the pedigree has been used for the duration of the week. Ella dio gracias "porque is hizo justicia".
Via. @ Merlincnnpic.twitter.com / GBSsV6PREZ
"All the time spent (in prison) has been hard," said the young woman, who stayed behind bars for 33 months after a first sentence of 30 years in prison in July 2017. The first judgment was overturned in February by the Supreme Court and Evelyn Hernandez had been released.
The Salvadoran Penal Code provides for two to eight years' imprisonment for abortion cases. But, in fact, the judges consider any loss of the baby as an "aggravated homicide", punishable by 30 to 50 years of imprisonment.
"It's an accident"
The case dates back to April 6, 2016, when the young woman, then teenager, gives birth to a baby in a toilet. Transferred to the hospital of the city of Cojutepeque, in the center of the country, she is arrested and accused of homicide. Evelyn Hernandez has always claimed her innocence and assured that her baby was stillborn. Initially it was reported that Evelyn Hernandez became pregnant after a rape, but her lawyer explained, without giving more details, prefer not to mention these circumstances at the request of the young woman who lives in a neighborhood gang-controlled and may be subject to retaliation.
At the conclusion of the hearing on Friday, one of the young woman's lawyers, Arnau Baulenas, told AFP she expected an acquittal: "There is no evidence to suggest that Evelyn had the intention to end the life of the baby (...) is an accident, "he said.
Currently, sixteen women are in prison in El Salvador for abortions. In recent months, five women sentenced for similar cases have been released.