|Now is Not the Time to Remain Silent - (No Es Hora De Callar)!|
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
“Now is Not the Time to Remain Silent” (“No Es Hora De Callar”)!
Jineth Bedoya Lima: “We are not going to rest until we have justice and truth for all the victims of the conflict in Colombia”
Yesterday, 7th October, on the day we remembered Anna Politkovskaya’s murder 10 years ago, Jineth Bedoya Lima (COLOMBIA) won 2016 RAW in WAR ANNA POLITKOVSKAYA AWARD, as President Juan Manuel Santos of COLOMBIA RECEIVED THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
Today, 8th October, speaking on the phone from a street demonstration in Colombia to demand the peace deal be saved, Jineth Bedoya Lima said:
“The two awards that were announced yesterday in Colombia - Nobel Peace Prize for president Santos and Anna Politkovskaya Award to me sends a very clear message from the world to Colombia that we have to end this war of more than 52 years, but also that we commit to continue working for the people who have been victims during the conflict.
It is a very clear message to tell the victims and survivors of sexual violence that we are not going to rest until we have justice and truth for them and for all the victims of the conflict in Colombia. But also it is a light of hope for the women who have believed that through word and voice you can visualize and change the reality and this is what I have been trying to do all these years.
These are timely awards in the midst of the difficult situation that we are living in Colombia.”
On the 10th anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s murder on Friday 7th October, RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in WAR) honoured Jineth Bedoya Lima with the 2016 Anna Politkovskaya Award for her courage to speak out and to give a voice to the more than 13,000 women in Colombia who, like Jineth herself, have been subjected to sexual violence at the hands of armed groups during the armed conflict.
By presenting Jineth Bedoya Lima with this year’s Anna Politkovskaya Award, RAW in WAR honors all Colombian women who have been killed, disappeared, tortured and raped in the 52 years of conflict. Today RAW in WAR calls on the international community to do all in its power to ensure that the peace process in Columbia brings the long awaited justice for the victims of the conflict and to the many thousands of women survivors of sexual violence; and to secure stability and peace in the country.
In 2000, whilst attending an interview in a prison for a report on the involvement of the military in arming paramilitaries, Jineth was kidnapped by men, claiming to work for a paramilitary leader. She was taken to a warehouse where she was beaten and gang-raped for days, and was later dumped naked, on a roadside. Despite the constant threat on her life, Jineth has continued to report and to seek the truth.
In 2009 Jineth broke her silence and initiated the campaign “Now is Not the Time to Remain Silent” (“No Es Hora De Callar”) which calls for justice for the thousands of Colombian women subjected to rape and sexual violence during the conflict. Jineth courageously began the campaign as she herself has been fighting for justice since 2000, knowing the risks that women face, especially when speaking out against armed men who raped and sexually abused them. In February and March 2016, two paramilitary fighters were sentenced for the kidnapping, torture and rape of Jineth Bedoya in 2000 – a long-awaited step forward towards getting justice done for the brutality she suffered.
On 26 September 2016 a historic peace agreement was signed in Colombia marking an official end to the 52–year long confilict, which has been scared by large scale abuses of human rights. This included unlawful killings, forced displacement, enforced disappearances, hostage-taking, torture and crimes of sexual violence, committed by all the parties, including the security forces and paramilitaries, either acting alone or in collusion with each other, and guerrilla groups.
Colombians are split on their support for the peace deal and voted against it in the referendum on 2 October 2016. Some see it as the best chance in a generation to halt the conflict, while others are outraged that rebels behind scores of atrocities against civilians will probably never spend a day in prison and will avoid justice. According to Jineth Bedoya: "In Colombia, the levels of impunity for crimes of sexual violence have reached 98%. Of the 150,000 rapes of women that had been recognized by the paramilitary groups, only 2% have resulted in guilty verdicts."
FOR INTERVIEWS WITH JINETH BEDOYA LIMA PLEASE CONTACT:
Twitter: @RawinWar @Refuse2beSilent
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