El Salvador woman cleared over baby’s death says ‘justice was done’


A 21-year-old woman acquitted of the aggravated murder of her baby in El Salvador has called on her supporters to fight for others like her. A judge said there was no evidence that Evelyn Hernández had killed her child, which was found dead in the septic tank of the toilet where she gave birth.

His ruling contradicted that of a 2017 trial, during which Ms Hernández was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years. Women’s groups hope the ruling will set a precedent for other jailed women. “I ask that justice and freedom be done for the other women,” Ms Hernández said, referring to at least 17 women who are currently in jail over similar cases. El Salvador has one of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the world. Abortion is illegal in all circumstances and those found guilty face between two and eight years in jail.

But in many instances, including the case against Ms Hernández, the charge is changed to one of aggravated homicide, which carries a minimum sentence of 30 years. Evelyn Hernández was charged with aggravated murder, with prosecutors arguing that she had killed her baby in 2016. She has always maintained her innocence, saying that she had been raped by a gang member and had no idea that she was pregnant.(BBC)…[+]