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Salvadoran girl tried for homicide after losing her acquitted baby


Evelyn Hernandez was acquitted Monday, August 19 of the murder of her stillborn baby. A prison sentence of 40 years was required against him.

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Evelyn Hernandez at the announcement of her acquittal by the court of Ciudad Delgado, August 19, 2019. REUTERS / Jose Cabezas

Evelyn Hernandez was acquitted Monday, August 19 of the murder of her stillborn baby. A prison sentence of 40 years was required against him.

Evelyn Hernandez will be able to go home. After 33 months of pre-trial detention, the 21-year-old Salvadoran woman was acquitted of negligent aggravated homicide charges against her.

" I'm happy, " said the young woman leaving the court in Ciudad Delgado, northeast of San Salvador, the capital.

Accused of killing her newborn baby and sentenced to jail for the first time in July 2017, she has always claimed her innocence. On April 6, 2016, the young woman, then a teenager, had given birth to a baby in a restroom. Transferred to the hospital in the city of Cojutepeque, she was arrested and charged with homicide. Evelyn Hernandez has always claimed her innocence and assured that her baby was stillborn.

"Attention, the feminist struggle advances in Latin America"

A hundred women gathered in front of the courthouse let their joy burst out at the announcement of the decision: " Attention, attention, the feminist struggle is advancing in Latin America, " they chanted. " Thank God, justice has been done. I also thank you all who came here, "said Evelyn Hernandez.

The prosecution had claimed 40 years in prison, in one of the countries with the most stringent anti-abortion laws in the world. The prosecution has ten days to appeal the judgment.

►Also read: El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras, total ban on abortion

His lawyer Arnau Baulenas hopes that this acquittal will pave the way for a change in national legislation. " It's only fair, after a deep injustice that lasted a very long time. We can not criminalize people who have a difficult birth or who were denied access to care, people who, because of their living conditions, did not have access to basic services, for whom the hospital was closer was far away, he argues. Therefore, Evelyn's case can not be presupposed that there is always a hospital nearby, that when she arrives at a medical center there is always someone to take care of her. On the other hand, we should not assume that all women know when they are pregnant or when they will give birth. This is what this case highlights. And all of this resulted in a violation of Evelyn's human rights. I recall that she spent almost three years in pre-trial detention, deprived of her liberty. I think all of this should be a hope for a change in the judicial system and in the persecution of the authorities. So for us it's a real victory, and an act of justice. "

Source: rfi

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