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Ecuador: Swedwatch calls on more companies purchasing bananas to support defender Jorge Acosta

"Ecuadorian defender faces new legal accusations", 10 Mar 2020

Union leader and human rights defender Jorge Acosta faces new legal accusations in Ecuador, related to his reports on labour rights issues in the banana sector. Swedwatch calls on companies purchasing bananas to use their leverage and demand fair treatment for Acosta...  On 7 February 2020, Acosta was arrested and detained for several hours after having requested court documents from a case related to the dismissal of banana workers attempting to form a trade union, according to ASTAC. He was accused of violating a judge’s privacy when he insisted the documents were public and subsequently tried to film the response of a judge when his request was denied. Acosta’s hearing is scheduled for 11 March 2020 at Unidad Penal de Babahoyo, in Babahoyo, the capital of Ecuador’s Los Ríos province. If found guilty, he faces up to three years in jail... The accusations against Acosta exemplify a global trend towards the silencing of human rights defenders through strategic lawsuits... In a joint response to the allegations made towards Acosta, six Nordic companies published a letter to the Ecuadorian Government on 5 March 2020 underlining the important role played by defenders such as Jorge Acosta and asking that he be treated fairly...

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