They demand freedom for Rastafarians imprisoned for sacramental cultivation of cannabis in Chile

Members of the Bobo Ashanti Order arrived at the Plaza de la Constitución (E.A.B.I.C) and the Nyahbinghi Order (T.R.O.N), both Rastafari organizations established in Chile more than 20 years, to call on the Government to immediately end the persecution, criminalization and imprisonment of Rastafari men and women for the spiritual use and sacramental cultivation of cannabis.

This is one more of the previous actions that the Rastafari have raised in different regions, after the most recent event, the unjustified imprisonment of the priest Giovanni Saltori and the prophet Alonso Flores, who have more than 50 Days imprisoned in the Valparaíso Penitentiary Complex for a false accusation of trafficking, linked to personal home cultivation.

“We denounce that we are being repressed and violated for exercising our legitimate right to the spiritual use and sacramental cultivation of cannabis., which seriously undermines the full exercise and development of our ancestral traditions and culture”, expressed through a public document.

The organizations gathered in the Plaza de la Constitución to demonstrate peacefully, raising their voices for justice to the sound of chants with Nyahbinghi drums typical of their ancestral tradition, spiritual and cultural. Later, A delegation of two representatives from each order went to the offices of the Palace of La Moneda to submit a letter addressed to President Gabriel Boric, with the testimony of both Rastafarian men in prison.

“Unfortunately, we have come across judges who base their decisions on prejudice, in ignorance towards Rastafari, because we have shown a lot of evidence that Rastafari has nothing to do with trafficking, It has nothing to do with that illicit trade. Today's activity was to make visible this situation we are experiencing, not only with our brothers (bobo ashanti) but others more. Hay 4 Rastafarians arrested for the same situation and the modus operandi of the Government is always the same, give us pre-trial detention without a proper investigation, and we want that to change, we are looking for recognition for I&I, an acknowledgment for our sacramental rights, spiritual, cultural, social", commented to Reggae Chalice Priest Igo, member of the E.A.B.I.C.

Through a public declaration that they delivered to the people who passed through the place, the Rastafari organizations condemned the mentioned facts, denouncing the constant persecution and historical discrimination that the Rastafari people have suffered by the State, and insisting on the call to end the persecution and criminalization of a movement that is the only one that in the full exercise of its rights, is constantly besieged by the sacred use of the plant.

"We express our deep indignation at the ignorance and ineffectiveness of Carabineros, Investigation police, Prosecutor's Office and Ministry of Justice, due to the lack of knowledge and adequate preparation of its officials, from a rights and cultural and religious relevance approach, to deal with situations in a civilized manner”, vehemently expressed in the statement that was read on the occasion by Sista Susy, member of the Nyahbinghi Order.

In the document, the organizations allude that said ignorance and lack of training of the forces of order are evident in each procedure, violating the principle of presumption of innocence, violating the right to physical and mental integrity, but particularly violating the right to freedom of worship.

“The only faith or congregation that is being discriminated, persecuted and imprisoned in Chile, is the Rastafari”, sentence.

At the end of the letter, Rastafari demand the immediate release of those imprisoned, as well as ending all judicial processes for cannabis that affect Rastafari.