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A woman who was tortured for 15 hours to confess to a crime and who has been languishing in prison for nearly four years must be released without delay, said Amnesty International ahead of a key decision on the case.

Yecenia Armenta Graciano was arrested in July 2012 by local police officers in the northern state of Sinaloa. She was raped, asphyxiated and hung from her feet upside down until she was forced to confess to murdering her husband. The only direct evidence presented against her was the statement obtained under torture. She has been in prison since then.

The Sinaloa Attorney General has a deadline of May 5 to inform the judge in charge of the case whether he thinks Yecenia should be convicted or acquitted. This is the same authority responsible for the torture of Yecenia.

“Yecenia is one of thousands of victims of Mexico’s wicked judicial system, one that all too often relies on confessions extracted under torture and other ill-treatment to sentence people,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International. 

“This decision is a no-brainer. Yecenia must be released immediately and unconditionally and an urgent investigation must be launched to ensure those who abused her face justice. Failure to do so will perpetuate the chilling message that the police can torture anyone into confessing to a crime without any consequence.”