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Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021
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Protestas contra reformas constitucionales en Panamá

The Ombudsman do not share photos or videos of protests with the Police

The Ombudsman's Office clarified that it does not share photos or videos with the National Police, and ensures that each observation and monitoring of the demonstrations is carried out in strict compliance with the United Nations guidelines.
This after last week there were accusations from activists who accused the institution of leaking information to the Police, to later be submitted as evidence before the Peace Courts.

"This is totally false, saying so not only puts the integrity of our Human Rights officers at risk, but also leaves the rest of the protesters vulnerable, suppressing impartial observation," says the entity.

According to the Ombudsman's Office, the work carried out by the Human Rights officers of this institution in the protests is that of observers in an impartial position. "We are going to observe, to capture the greatest amount of information related to those human rights that are being exercised, such as the right to integrity, to demonstrate, to meet, among others," they add.

They explain that these observers in their role must identify the number of organizations that participate in these demonstrations, as well as the equipment that the security forces have to guarantee public order.

They must also determine if it is a protest, a march or a meeting; verify if at the end of each of these protest actions there are people detained, and if their physical integrity has been respected due process.

After this, the corresponding report is drawn up, which includes a detailed account of everything observed, and determines if any right has been violated and thus forward it to the corresponding authorities.

The Ombudsman's Office explained that each human rights officer must be duly identified in each protest or demonstration to document the facts, take photographs and videos, so that in the event that rights are violated, the authorities can be informed and initiate the investigations.
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