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Argentina: Death threats against Judge Roberto Burad, presiding over trial of 10 people accused of committing crimes against humanity
On 2 August 2012, an individual made an anonymous phone call to the residence of Judge Roberto Burad and threatened to kill him.
Dr Roberto Burad is a member of the panel of judges presiding over the Federal Oral Court No1 (TOF1), where the third round of oral trials against 10 people accused of committing crimes against humanity in Mendoza province was commencing on 2 August. Dr Roberto Burad has ensured access to fair and impartial justice for the victims of these crimes, and has thereby guaranteed their related human rights in the judicial process.
On 2 August 2012, at approximately 12:00 pm, Dr Roberto Burad's wife answered the phone at their residence and the caller asked to speak to her husband. When she informed the unidentified caller that her husband was not at home, he told her to pass the following message to Dr Roberto Burad: “Dígale a ese hijo de puta que lo vamos a cagar matando” (Tell that son of a bitch that we are going to kill him). The caller then hung up. Dr Roberto Burad has lodged a formal criminal complaint regarding the death threat.
The trial being heard by TOF1 relates to 32 enforced disappearances committed during the military dictatorship which ended in 1983. Of the 32 victims, the whereabouts of 29 are still unknown, one died of natural causes and two are alive and at liberty. The 10 accused are made up of officials from the Provincial Police, the Argentine Army and the Air-force.
Front Line Defenders is seriously concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of Dr Roberto Burad and believes that the threat against him is directly related to the criminal case he is presiding over.