Guatemala Expels ‘Abortion Ship’ Activists From Washington State

Guatemala Expels 'Abortion Ship' Activists From Washington State
By Tom Banse

Originally published on March 2, 2017 6:30 pm

A husband and wife from Port Townsend, Washington, are on their way home after being expelled from Guatemala. The Washingtonians and several other international activists narrowly avoided arrest during a maritime abortion rights protest.

Merilee Nyland Evans and her husband Daniel volunteered to go to Guatemala aboard a 36-foot sailboat run by an activist group named "Women on Waves." The Dutch-based group sails to countries with restrictive abortion laws to offer free abortions at sea.

Continued at source: KNKX News: http://knkx.org/post/guatemala-expels-abortion-ship-activists-washington-state


Guatemala blocks entry to Dutch ship providing abortions

Guatemala blocks entry to Dutch ship providing abortions
Fri Feb 24, 2017

Guatemala's army detained a boat carrying a supply of abortion pills on Thursday and prevented it from picking up women seeking to end their pregnancies, saying the move was prohibited by the country's constitution.

The boat, operated by Dutch nonprofit Women on Waves, was in military custody with some of its seven crew members still aboard, after landing at a private pier at the Port of San Jose, 75 miles (120 km) south of the capital, said Leticia Zenevich, a spokeswoman for the group.

Continued at source: Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-guatemala-abortion-idUSKBN163080


Guatemalan army declare they will denounce the abortion ship without legal grounds

Guatemalan army declare they will denounce the abortion ship without legal grounds
Feb 23, 2017
Women on Waves

The abortion ship has all required permits to enter, stay and leave Guatemala and has arrived safely yesterday at harbour Marina Pez Vela. Access to the boat has been shut down during the press conference. As the activists started the press conference, they were expelled from the venue by the administration of Marina Pez Vela without further explanations. Since the actions started this morning, a series of violations have been perpetrated against the boat campaign. The abortion ship is now detained. These actions not only have no legal grounds but also constitute a serious breach of the International Convention of the Sea, freedom of expression (Article 18 of the International Declaration of Human Rights), freedom of movement and Guatemalan citizens' right to movement. The Guatemalan army has declared they will denounce the abortion ship, which has no legal grounds.

Despite the fact that the abortion ship has followed all regulations, the ship was detained and the Guatemalan army has promised to denounce the boat and are now obstructing a lawful protest against the State's restrictions on the Guatemalan women's right to safe abortion.

According to the International Convention of Sea a ship can only be detained on the bases of civil proceedings and environmental pollution and not for any activities that concern the transport of people on board the ship. So there are no legal grounds on which the abortion ship can be detained or arrested (1).

The ship campaign, a joint action brought together by Women on Waves and Guatemalan organisations, aims to highlight the violation of human rights caused by the existing abortion laws in Guatemala. All abortions that can be performed onboard are carried on in international waters, where the boat is under European law and outside the jurisdiction of Guatemala.

Continued at source: Women on Waves: http://www.womenonwaves.org/en/page/6588/in-collection/2604/guatemalan-army-declare-they-will-denounce-the-abortion-ship-without-legal-groun