A Bogota judge has ordered the immediate release of labor rights activist Liliany Obando, who was sent to jail in 2008 amid accusations she had ties to rebel group FARC, international NGOs said Thursday.
According to the NGOs, a judge ordered the release of Liliany Obando Wednesday after prosecutors failed to comply with legal timeframes in the three years and seven months she was in jail.
Obando was considered a political prisoner by the human rights organizations and was the last civilian suspect in jail for “FARC-politics,” or the maintaining of criminal ties to Colombia’s largest rebel group.
Before her arrest, Obando was the director of Fensuagro, a farmers’ rights group. She was arrested after accusations by the administration of former President Alvaro Uribe that emails found on the computers of slain FARC commander “Raul Reyes” proved not only that Obando had ties to the guerrillas, but also had romantic relations with the rebel leader.
James Brittain, a Canadian scholar and human rights activist, told Colombia Reports that the accusation of Obando being Reyes’ girlfriend was “completely untrue and absurd.”
The Supreme Court ruled last year that no material allegedly found on these computers may be used as the evidence was obtained illegally.
The release of the activist does not mean she is absolved of charges as the charges against Obando have not been dismissed.
The NGOs called on the Colombian government to immediately offer protection to Obando who, according to the activists, has already received death threats from neo-paramilitary group the “Aguilas Negras.”