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Urgent Action: Release ‘the 17’ women in el Salvador

A series of pardon requests for a group of 17 Salvadoran women jailed with extremely long sentences for pregnancy-related offences after flawed and unfair trials is now coming up for decision in the Legislative Assembly. “Guadalupe”, the first of such cases, is due to be voted on again on 21 January. The members of the Assembly have the power to set her and other women free.

In April 2014, 17 women jailed for pregnancy-related offences after flawed prosecutions and trials with prison terms ranging from 12 to 40 years, submitted a pardon request (indulto). Their requests have been going through a complex process which includes a judicial review by the Supreme Court of Justice and subsequently requires a majority plenary vote in the Legislative Assembly.

All 17 women come from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds and were unjustly imprisoned after unfair trials, which included unreliable and weak evidence, and poor legal defence. All suffered pregnancy-related complications outside a hospital setting, and were initially charged with abortion. They were subsequently sentenced to up to 40 years’ imprisonment for aggravated homicide.

The case of “Guadalupe”, a young 18-year-old woman who was imprisoned in 2007 and has already served seven years of her 30-year sentence, is the first case to be voted on in the Assembly. Members already voted on 16 January and “Guadalupe” lost her plea by just one vote. A re-vote is due on 21 January and Assembly members have a chance to rectify the wrongs she has been suffering and reunite her with her young son and family.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

  • Urging Assembly members to release “Guadalupe” and the rest of ‘the 17’ women jailed for pregnancy-related
    offences after unfair trials [for suggested tweets in Spanish see below];
  • Calling on them to release all Salvadoran women who have been imprisoned for having abortions or
    miscarriages immediately and unconditionally.

Suggested Spanish Tweets: 

– #Indultoya para Guadalupe de #LAS17 – su futuro está en tus manos #MiCuerpoMisDerechos

(Pardon for Guadalupe now – her future is in your hands)

– #Las17 #Indultoya para Guadalupe – No más criminalización de mujeres pobres

(Pardon for Guadalupe and the 17 – no more criminalization of poor women)

– #ElSalvador debe liberar a las mujeres encarceladas tras sufrir complicaciones derivadas del embarazo #Las17

(El Salvador must free the women jailed after pregnancy related complications)

This is a selection of Assembly members from different parties (for more members see below)

Ana Vilma de Escobar (ARENA)

Twitter: @defiende_tuvoto


Douglas Leonardo Mejía Avilés (CD)
Twitter: @douglasavilescd

Francisco José Zablah Safie
Twitter: @franciscozablah

José Francisco Merino López (PCN)
Twitter: @merino_chico

Jackeline Rivera (FMLN)
Twitter: @JRiveraAvalos

Main Twitter handles for all parties:

Read the full Amnesty International statement HERE.


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