Teodora freed after 10 years in prison

Teodora VasquezTeodora Vasquez.Photo: Amnesty International

Teodora Vasquez, 34, was sentenced to 30 years in prison after aborting her child in 2007. After massive efforts from local and international organizations, she became a free woman today after 10 years of being behind walls in El Salvador.


General Secretary of Amnesty Norway, John Peder Egenæs, was waiting with Teodora’s family outside the prison in El Salvador when Teodora Vasquez was finally released today.


“This is a joyful day for Teodora and her family who have been waiting with great excitement in recent weeks. Teodora’s son, who has been without his mother for the last ten years, has been the only smiling in recent days,” says Egenæs.


El Salvador has one of the world’s toughest abortions. There are still 27 women in the country’s prisons that have been affected by the abortion ban.


“The release of Teodora Vasquez is an important step in the long struggle for women’s rights in Latin America. Commonly, those affected are the young, the poor, and the marginalized,” says Egenæs.


Teodora’s case created enormous media attention in December 2017, when Amnesty Norway sent an emergency broadcast with the voice of Teodora’s sister from a suspended Norwegian FM frequency. People from all over the world helped spread the signal through social media.


“The release of Teodora must mark a change in El Salvador’s and other conservative countries’ abortion legislation. Amnesty International is fighting for the decriminalization of abortion, the release of all women imprisoned because of childbirth, and that women should be guaranteed safe and legal therapeutic abortion,” Egenæs says.


Source: Amnesty International / #Norway Today