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Appeal for security and human rights of the director of the Justice and Life

27 August 2004

Letter to H.E. Dr Alvaro Uribe Vélez, President of the Republic Colombia, 27 August,
2004


Your Excellency,

Please accept our respectful greetings from Geneva.

We have been informed by various sources in which we have complete confidence,
of the renewed outbreak of harassment and threats to the life and physical
integrity of Prof. Lilia Solano, director of the Justice and Life Project, and
coordinator of the Camillo Torres Restrepo Chair at the Faculty of Law and Political
and Social Sciences at the National University of Colombia. Such harassment and
threats have escalated seriously in the past few days.

Prof. Solano is a respected member of the international ecumenical movement.
Her training in philosophy and political science is accompanied by her outstanding
Christian commitment and courageous witness in the struggle for life, peace
and justice in Colombia. She has been invited on numerous occasions by the World
Council of Churches, and in particular our Commission on International Affairs,
to take part in different events organized in Geneva, New York and elsewhere in
the world. On every occasion we have appreciated her intellectual capability and
her ethical honesty in defending human dignity in Colombia.

Endorsing the criminal complaint filed by Prof. Solano before the Fiscal General
of Colombia, and the appeals by various organizations, we ask the Colombian
Government:

1. to take effective measures necessary to guarantee the life and physical integrity
of Prof. Lilia Solano;

2. to carry out a full criminal and disciplinary investigation into the authors of
these threats, with due trial and appropriate penalties;

3. to be mindful of its obligations with respect to the security and protection
of those working for the defence of human rights, and in the light of these,
to take the immediate and effective measures necessary to ensure that Prof.
Solano and the members of the Justice and Life Project can continue their
work of defending human rights, without danger.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Guillermo Kerber,
Interim Coordinator, CCIA