Joint letter on threats against Germán Romero Sánchez
In a joint letter to the Colombian authorities Lawyers for Lawyers, Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, Colombian Caravana, Fundación Abogacía Española, Observatoire International des Avocats and Illustre Colegio de la Abogacia de Bizkaia expressed concerns about the imminent risk to lawyer Germán Romero Sánchez. On 3 October 2019, he received a direct death threat, which is feared to be the related to his work as lawyer.
Germán Romero Sánchez is a prominent human rights lawyer who works for DH Colombia, an organization that aims to promote and protect human rights in Colombia. As a lawyer he often works in criminal cases enforced disappearance and extrajudicial killings in which often the alleged perpetrators are State agents and high-ranking officials in the Colombian Army.
On 3 October 2019, in the early morning, Romero Sánchez was called at his home by persons unknown who said: ‘I’m not going to let you live your whole life, you hear me’? The death threat is the latest event to occur in months of constant persecution against this lawyer. On 4 September this year, Romero Sánchez had his laptop stolen in a robbery coordinated between 4 people. The laptop contained witness statements, evidence and other sensitive, private information against high-ranking officials. On the night of 20 August, Romero Sánchez and his bodyguard reported being followed by two people on a motorbike. Between the months of July and August 2019, one of the lawyer’s family members received multiple phone calls during the night on their mobile phone, in which an unknown person insisted that Romero Sánchez should return the call; during the conversation voices could be heard telling the person what to say.
These threats place Romero Sánchez and his family at grave physical risk and are part of a context of constant risk for those who seek the truth about crimes in which the alleged perpetrators are high-ranking members of the Armed Forces. Therefore, in the joint letter L4L respectfully called upon the Colombian government to insist that the State Prosecutor’s Office effectively investigates the threats of 3 October and the robbery of 4 September and to take all necessary measures to protect the personal integrity of Romero Sánchez.
Read the full letter (Spanish) here.
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