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A court’s decision not to release a woman forced to spend a decade behind bars after having a miscarriage in El Salvador is an outrageous step backward for justice, Amnesty International said.

Teodora suffered a stillbirth in 2007, after the rapid onset of serious pain while she was at work. Police arrested her as she lay in a pool of blood. She was later sentenced to 30 years for ‘aggravated homicide’ under El Salvador’s total ban on abortions.

The trial was marred by irregularities. 

“Teodora’s tragic story is a sad illustration of everything that is wrong with the justice system in El Salvador, where human rights seem to be a foreign concept,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“Instead of punishing Teodora for being a woman, authorities in El Salvador must urgently take a hard look at their outrageous anti-abortion law and take immediate steps to repeal it.”