The International Observatory for Lawyers, a body set up to defend lawyers under threat, will watch over a lawsuit brought by trade unions against former Vice President Francisco Santos and former presidential advisor Jose Obdulio Gaviria.
Santos and Obdulio Gaviria are being sued by three trade unions for libel, after the officials accused the unions of having links to terrorism.
The Observatory will observe the development of the lawsuit, as lawyers involved with the case have been targets of threats and harassment, El Espectador reports. The French representative of the organisation, Emmanuel Molina, said that the intervention is linked “to the threats that have been issued and to the increase in the level of [their lawyers’] personal risk.”
Molina said. “The International Observatory for Lawyers wants to remind Colombia that the country is responsible for [the lawyers’] security.”
Molina met with the Embassy of France and the United Nations in Bogota in order to propose a solution to the dangers facing the criminal lawyers.
“Diplomatic authorities have been very sensitive to the issue of protecting lives of human rights defenders, which has been demonstrated through various proposals for intervention during dialogues with Colombian authorities,” said Molina.
The representative of the International Observatory for Lawyers on Tuesday will meet with a delegation of the European Union, hours before the hearing against Santos and Gaviria.