Human Rights Watch
November 7, 2013
(Washington, D.C.) – A Mexican Supreme Court ruling on November 6, 2013, affirms the Mexican constitutional principle that evidence obtained through torture or other violations of fundamental human rights is inadmissible, Human Rights Watch said today.
The court ordered the immediate release of Israel Arzate Meléndez. He was arbitrarily detained by the military in 2010, tortured to confess to taking part in a multiple homicide, and held for more than three years in preventive detention while he awaited trial. The Supreme Court has yet to publish the grounds for reaching this decision, and so its scope remains uncertain.
“The Supreme Court’s ruling is a long-overdue acknowledgment by the government that Israel Arzate’s confession was obtained in violation of his rights and should never have been allowed as evidence,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “Beyond freeing Israel, the court should use the ruling to affirm a clear and unequivocal prohibition on the use of torture-tainted evidence in Mexico’s justice system.” Read more.
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