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Ola Bini is a computer expert and human rights defender recognised worldwide, who has been facing a political-judicial process in Ecuador since April 2019. In regard to this, the undersigned Ecuadorian and international civil society organisations have decided to set up a mission to observe the preparatory hearing and trial evaluation of 3 December 2020.

This decision is based on a shared concern: the possible lack of guarantees to ensure a fair trial for Bini, as established by the constitutional state of rights and justice. From the beginning it has been shown that this case is crossed by political interests and the constant undue interference of the national government. Indeed, top authorities of the executive branch, such as President Lenín Moreno and the ex-Minister of Government María Paula Romo, have carried out public interventions in order to pressure the judicial function. This action has aroused multiple rejections and the constant questioning of more than 100 national and international organisations and institutions

On the other hand, observing this hearing is essential since this process constitutes a paradigmatic case for Ecuador and the region. A judicial decision based on undue political pressures, and not on technical criteria, will have negative consequences for the protection of human rights defenders in general and for the validity of digital rights in particular. Internet access is increasingly relevant in all social processes, and therefore, to persecute and criminalise activists whose technical knowledge is key to protecting human rights in the digital field implies a severe increase in the risk of its massive violation.

We have organised this observation mission in order to monitor that the right to a fair trial imparted by an independent and impartial judicial authority is respected and for the decisions taken to meet technical and expert criteria, taking into account the need to ensure the full validity of human rights inside and outside the digital environment.

  • Access Now

  • ARTICLE 19

  • Asociación de Software Libre del Ecuador (ASLE)

  • Association for Progressive Communications (APC)

  • Brasil de Fato

  • Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.” (CSMM)

  • Comité Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (CDH)

  • Derechos Digitales

  • Ecuador Today

  • Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

  • Fundación Karisma

  • Fundación Regional de Asesoría en Derechos Humanos (INREDH)

  • Indymedia Ecuador

  • Intervozes

  • LaLibre

  • Marcha Noticias

  • Observatorio de Derechos y Justicia (ODJ)