Court strike sets more than 2,000 crime suspects free in Colombia

Other News Materials 3 October 2008 22:05 (UTC +04:00)

More than 2,000 people who had been arrested over the past month in Colombia walked free due to a strike by employees of the country's court system, Justice authorities confirmed Friday.

Workers went on strike on September 3 in an ongoing protest that is the longest in the sector in Colombia. They are demanding a pay rise, a review of the process through which judges and public prosecutors are selected and an increase in the numbers of court workers, dpa reported.

The striking National Association of Employees of the Court Sector (Asonal) has 42,000 affiliates, most of whom are taking part in the protest.

According to Justice authorities, in charge of the sector's management, since the beginning of the protest 2,017 people have been freed because the relevant proceedings could not be carried out as the law requires.

While many suspects in crimes have walked free, many people remain in jail despite having served their terms, because they are waiting for a judge to sign their release.