Lawyer Claudia González has been granted conditional release after spending 81 days in custody
After 81 days in detention, Guatemalan lawyer Claudia Gonzáles Orellana was released on house arrest on November 16th.
Ms. González received the prestigious Lawyers for Lawyers Award 2023 for her work as a prominent human rights lawyer in Guatemala and her work as a former representative of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), an international body set up as part of an agreement between the United Nations and the Guatemalan government
On the morning of August 28, 2023, Ms. González, was subjected to a search of her home before being arrested. Ms. González was detained on charges of abuse of authority, a charge generally reserved for public officials, despite her not holding such a position.
After an appeal against the detention order, the First Chamber of the Court of Appeal granted the lawyer’s conditional release. Ms. González is currently on unsupervised house arrest and is required to appear before the Court every 15 days. Additionally, she is prohibited from leaving the country without the Court’s authorization.
The legal proceedings involving Ms. González are part of an ongoing investigation into her conduct that traces back to 2017 when she worked as a representative of the CICIG. The investigation was launched after Ms. Gonzáles had filed a lawsuit against a Guatemalan judge in a corruption case in 2017. Ms. Gonzáles stated that the case against her is a political prosecution’ and criticized the proceedings against her.
Although Lawyers for Lawyers welcomes the decision to end Ms. González’ detention, we remain concerned about the integrity of the legal proceedings against her.
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