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WCC supports demands for release of Argentinean indigenous activist Milagro Sala

WCC supports demands for release of Argentinean indigenous activist Milagro Sala

A graffiti of Milagro Sala, by the artist Lumpenbola, in La Plata, claims her freedom. ©Yira!

20 December 2016

“WCC notes the concern expressed by Movimiento Ecuménico por los Derechos Humanos (MEDH) and many other civil society organizations in Argentina that Milagro Sala, a prominent political activist, social and indigenous leader, is being arbitrarily detained because of her activism, though other charges are laid against her”, wrote Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), in a letter on 16 December, to the Evangelical Methodist Church of Argentina (IEMA), in support of MEDH in its claim regarding Sala.

Sala is a leader of the Tupac Amaru neighbourhood association, part of the Association of State Workers of Jujuy, and a leading figure in the Movimiento Piquetero of Argentina. She was arrested on January 2016.

Several human rights organizations denounced Argentina's government at the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (GAD) of the United Nations, alleging the illegal detention of Milagro Sala.

Tveit’s letter to IEMA stresses the strategic advocacy role played by MEDH, expressing support for its work to secure the immediate release of Sala and of all those detained or prosecuted for participation in non-violent social protest. “This work is a true expression of the pilgrimage of justice and peace on which we are together embarked”, he wrote.

On October 2016 the GAD decided that the detention of Sala was arbitrary and ordered Argentina's government to free her immediately. The Argentina government still considers that the GAD decision was not mandatory.

WCC member churches in Argentina