"Our heads were bagged..." - Jason describes his journey from prison to court house today.
Jason’s family is asking everyone to contact their elected representatives immediately to urge them to pressure the Nicaraguan government to release Jason. The Nicaraguan Court, yesterday, made rulings in Jason’s case that have turned the wrongful detention into a full blown institutional kidnapping, with Judge Davila and Prosecutor Giscard Guillen leading the charge together.
Jason was taken from his cell at 4:15 a.m. to be driven to the courthouse with the other ten defendants in his case. Jason said he was terrified when the defendants were handcuffed and their heads were “bagged” with their own shirts. They were forced to sit in the truck with their heads between their knees for the two hour ride.
Once they arrived at the courthouse, they sat waiting for over two hours for Judge Davila to finally show up. During that time, Jason's defense attorney, Fabbrith Gomez, tried to pass Jason water in the courtroom and the police would not let him. Fabbrith protested Jason's right to water, and there was an altercation. The police officer yelled obscene language at Fabbrith and threatened to handcuff him. Fabbrith was finally able to get water to Jason in the presence of the Judge once they were in the courtroom.
Fabbrith then had to plead with Judge Davila to allow Jason and the other defendants to be given food as they were not given anything to eat since the day before.
The hearing continued until almost 10:00 p.m. Most alarmingly, during the Court's first break, Rivas Police Commissioner Aleman (the one who had Jason arrested) was seen leaving the Judge's chambers. The Judge apparently met with Aleman while the Judge was deliberating on the motions by the defense.
It is clear to all that Judge Davila is not acting independently. He ruled exactly how Prosecutor, Giscard Guillen, told him to and denied all the defense motions.
Judge Dionisis Davila (pictured here)
The most important motion pending was the defense motion to release Jason because the prosecution has held him for more than six months without a trial. The Nicaraguan Supreme Court held in a similar case that this type of detention without a trial is a violation of the Nicaraguan Constitution. Judge Davila refused to even rule on this motion. The wrongful imprisonment will, therefore, continue because Judge Davila refuses to follow the law.
In a letter written after the hearing yesterday, Jason described his outrage:
I cannot even begin to describe how I feel right now. Kidnapped by the police from day 1; human, civil, & constitutional rights violated; suffering physically, mentally, psychologically; and the judicial system of Nicaragua continues to ignore their own laws to keep me where I am. I am so frustrated that my feelings go beyond anger. More than anything, I am saddened by the fact that I am experiencing something that, not just a few others, but hundreds experience when dealing w/the Nicaraguan police, prosecution, attorney general, & judicial system.
Now more than ever, Jason needs the vocal support of the United States government. Jason’s family urges supporters to flood the offices with letters and phone calls expressing their outrage. Everyone should ask their representatives, “What is being done to expedite Jason Puracal’s release from Nicaraguan custody?”
Find contact information for Senators, Congressmen, the State Department, and President Obama at www.freejasonp.com
The US Embassy and the Nicaraguan Embassy also needs to feel the pressure. You can write to them at:
• Embassy, Republic of Nicaragua
1627 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20009
• Embassy, United States of America
Kilometer 5 1/2 (5.5) Carretera Sur
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!