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Journalist arrested, police accused of using excessive force

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - Mexico City, 5 July 2012 - On the morning of Thursday 5 July 2012, officers of the Nuevo León Force and the San Pedro Garza García Municipal Police arrested journalist Sanjuana Martínez at her home, reportedly in connection with a civil case she is facing.

According to the journalist's defense team and individuals who are close to her, the police used excessive force during the arrest. The arrest is linked to divorce proceedings between Martínez and Spanish judge Carlos Castresana, who has filed a civil suit for custody of their children.

One of the journalist's lawyers said there had been an abuse of authority, as proper legal procedure was not followed and the process is biased towards one of the individuals in the conflict.

The day before she was detained, the journalist, who contributes to the Sinembargo.mx website, had filed an appeal with the Judicial Council requesting that Luz María Guerrero Delgado, of the 15th Family Court in San Pedro Garza, be removed from her case. In a 2008 report published in La Jornada, Martínez had accused the judge of being behind an irregular procedure during which two minors were removed from a shelter for abused women.

ARTICLE 19 laments the excessive use of force during this seemingly arbitrary arrest and calls on the Nuevo León authorities to ensure that due process is followed.

The organisation also urges the Nuevo León State Human Rights Commission to ensure that the journalist's rights are upheld.

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