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

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.

IMG_6516.JPGIMG_6517.JPGIMG_6517.JPGDespite 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.

If you have an unwanted pregnancy, please contact 50222786724

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Women on Waves                                       

502 4845 6767 




4.1 International Convention Relating to the Arrest of Sea-Going Ships:
Article1: ”In this Convention the following words shall have the meanings hereby assigned to them:
(1) "Maritime Claim" means a claim arising out of one or more of the following:(a) damage caused by any ship either in collision or otherwise;(b) loss of life or personal injury caused by any ship or occurring in connexion with the operation of any ship;(c) salvage;(d) agreement relating to the use or hire of any ship whether by charterparty or otherwise;(e) agreement relating to the carriage of goods in any ship whether by charterparty or otherwise;(f) loss of or damage to goods including baggage carried in any ship;(g) general average;(h) bottomry;(i) towage;(J) pilotage;(k) goods or materials wherever supplied to a ship for her operation or maintenance;(1) construction, repair or equipment of any ship or dock charges and dues;(m) wages of Masters, Officers, or crew;(n) Master's disbursements, including disbursements made by shippers, charterers or agent on behalf of a ship or her owner;(o ) disputes as to the title to or ownership of any ship;(p) disputes between co-owners of any ship as to the ownership, possession, employment, or earnings of that ship;(q) the mortgage or hypothecation of any ship.
(2) "Arrest" means the detention of a ship by judicial process to secure a maritime claim, but does not include the seizure of a ship in execution or satisfaction of a judgment.
Article 2: “A ship flying the flag of one of the Contracting States may be arrested in the jurisdiction of any of the Contracting States in respect of any maritime claim, but in respect of no other claim; but nothing in this Convention shall be deemed to extend or restrict any right or powers vested in any governments or their departments, public authorities, or dock or habour authorities under their existing domestic laws or regulations to arrest, detain or otherwise prevent the sailing of vessels within their jurisdiction. “
3.4.3 International Convention of the seas
Article 27: Criminal jurisdiction on board a foreign ship
1.The criminal jurisdiction of the coastal State should not be exercised on board a foreign ship passing through the territorial sea to arrest any person or to conduct any investigation in connection with any crime committed on board the ship during its passage, save only in the following cases:(a) if the consequences of the crime extend to the coastal State;(b)if the crime is of a kind to disturb the peace of the country or the good order of the territorial sea;(c)if the assistance of the local authorities has been requested by the master of the ship or by a diplomatic agent or consular officer of the flag State; or(d)if such measures are necessary for the suppression of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances.
2.The above provisions do not affect the right of the coastal State to take any steps authorized by its laws for the purpose of an arrest or investigation on board a foreign ship passing through the territorial sea after leaving internal waters.
3.In the cases provided for in paragraphs 1 and 2, the coastal State shall, if the master so requests, notify a diplomatic agent or consular officer of the flag State before taking any steps, and shall facilitate contact between such agent or officer and the ship's crew. In cases of emergency this notification may be communicated while the measures are being taken.
4.In considering whether or in what manner an arrest should be made, the local authorities shall have due regard to the interests of navigation.
5.Except as provided in Part XII or with respect to violations of laws and regulations adopted in accordance with Part V, the coastal State may not take any steps on board a foreign ship passing through the territorial sea to arrest any person or to conduct any investigation in connection with any crime committed before the ship entered the territorial sea, if the ship, proceeding from a foreign port, is only passing through the territorial sea without entering internal waters.
Article28: Civil jurisdiction in relation to foreign ships
1.The coastal State should not stop or divert a foreign ship passing through the territorial sea for the purpose of exercising civil jurisdiction in relation to a person on board the ship.
2.The coastal State may not levy execution against or arrest the ship for the purpose of any civil proceedings, save only in respect of obligations or liabilities assumed or incurred by the ship itself in the course or for the purpose of its voyage through the waters of the coastal State.
3.Paragraph 2 is without prejudice to the right of the coastal State, in accordance with its laws, to levy execution against or to arrest, for the purpose of any civil proceedings, a foreign ship lying in the territorial sea, or passing through the territorial sea after leaving internal waters. 

Guatemala: Comunicados de Prensa

Lea aquí todos los comunicados de prensa de la campaña de Guatemala 2017.