Timeline of Ola's detention
This is the timeline of the events surrounding Ola Bini's detention.
April 10 – 7:39 am
Ola publicly announces over twitter that he is traveling to Japan.
April 11 – 7:28 am
The Ecuadorian Interior Minister, María Paula Romo, gives a press conference in which she states that two Russian hackers live in Ecuador and a member of Wikileaks. She says that she will give that information to the Prosecution. Hours prior to his arrest, the Interior Minister of Ecuador Maria Paula Romo declared that the government was about to apprehend individuals who are supposedly involved in trying to establish a piracy center in Ecuador, including two Russian hackers, a Wikileaks collaborator and a person close to Julian Assange. She stated: “We are not going to allow Ecuador to become a hacking center, and we cannot allow illegal activities to take place in the country, either to harm Ecuadorian citizens or those from other countries or any government.” However, neither she nor any investigative authority has provided any proof to back these claims.
Read more here:
April 11 – 10:07 am
April 11 – 1:30 pm
Ola is detained at the 'Mariscal Sucre International Airport' in Quito, Ecuador, and is placed in an area for non-admitted persons. They say that he was being held under a temporary movement restriction order. He was in the queue to board the airplane when his detention happened. He is shown a restriction order that had another person's name first, and then another with another nationality (Swiss). He is held at the airport with no access to his lawyers, with no translation to his mother tongue, and, at no point, was he informed of the charges. They constantly try to make him sign a statement. This detention order is claimed to be justified by Article 444.8 of the Comprehensive Criminal Code, which states:
"it is the duty of the prosecutor 'to prevent, for a time not exceeding eight hours, that the persons whose information is necessary, are held absent from the place'".
Read more here:
April 11 – 10:04 pm
A detention order for Ola is issued.
April 11 – 00:00 (aprox.):
Ola’s house is raided. Ola is taken to an unknown abandoned building (it is speculated that it is the police building on Juan León Mera Street, on the corner of Robles Street. He was not given a place to sleep, and spent the night there).
April 12 – 8:00 am
Ola is moved to Flagrancia de la Función Judicial building.
April 12 – 11:14 am
The twitter account of 'Policia Nacional del Ecuador' publishes a tweet saying "through the use of digital platforms of social networks, the subjetc transmitted information of social connotation (disclosure of information) through websites, among the most prominent, Wikileaks. The subject, used false profiles", it was accompanied by a photo of books and devices that had been confiscated from Ola's home and himself. This tweet was later deleted.
Read more here:
April 12 – 1:16 pm
Ola is finally able to speak to his lawyers.
April 12 – unknown:
Defense lawyers go to Ola's house to find it being raided. When asked if they have a warrant order, they seem confused. See here.
April 12 – 10:02 pm
The hearing begins. The Prosecution presented as evidence, a purported call to 1800-DELITO, whereby an individual with the alias "Marcos", allegedly indicated that Bini, "of Russian nationality, has links with Julian Assange".
The defense argued the irregularities of the case: no explanation was given in his mother tongue; he had been detained for more than 30 hours without a hearing when the law clearly states that this has to be done with a 24 hour period.
The Prosecutor's Office presented a report on how Bini's arrest had transparent. Attached, was the document of the reading of constitutional rights in English and Spanish; the email to the Consulate of Sweden in Quito, informing Consul Ola Ernberg of the arrest; the order of the Judge wherein the arrest is ordered, and a report of the Judicial Function, in which it is confirmed that there are no experts in the Swedish language. The Diplomat and translator, Dagmar Elnaes was present at the hearing.
April 12 – 11:08 pm
The official account of the Minister of the Interior published this tweet: "We have information that @wikileaks would have intervened in domestic politics, and today he was arrested, for investigative purposes, a close associate of Julian Assange, who has been living in Ecuador and was about to travel to Japan". This was said by the Interior Minister, María Paula Romo, to CNN. Find it here.
April 13 – 1:50 pm
The presiding Judge of the Unidad de Garantías Penales, Rodolfo Navarrete, dictated the beginning of the fiscal instruction for ninety days against Ola for the crime of 'attacking the integrity of computer systems', and imposed two precautionary measures as requested by Prosecutor, Fabián Chávez: prison and the freezing of bank accounts that are in Ola's name.
April 13 – unknown
Ecuador's former Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patiño, says that he “does not remember if he knows Ola”. Find it here.
April 16 – morning
A press conference was held in Ecuador’s capital, Quito, about Ola's case. At the press conference, in addition to Bini’s lawyer, Dr. Carlos Soria, his parents, Dag Gustafsson (father) and Görel Bini (mother) participated after having traveled from Europe to “bring their son home”. At the press conference, they highlighted the procedural irregularities of the case and the violation of his human rights. Carlos Soria, said that there were several “irregularities in the arrest of Ola Bini”. It was only on Monday, April 15, that it became public that he is being accused of “alleged participation in the crime of assault on the integrity of computer systems” by the Attorney General of Ecuador. They also highlighted that the Ecuadorian state was violating his “right to freedom of expression, the right to ideology, the right to legal guarantees”.
Voices all over the world started to demand the immediate release of Ola.
Ola's parents also reported that Ola had received several threats in prison. Read more
Read more here:
April 16 – all day
Over 65 organizations worldwide sign an open letter in support of Ola. Find it here.
April 17 – all day
Ola's first letter from prison is published. Read it here.
Abril 19, 2019 - 1:39 pm
Read Glenn Greenwald's tweet about Ola's letter here.
April 22 - all day:
The Criminal chamber of the Provincial Court, is convened for May 2nd to the oral hearing , public and contradictory, referring to the order of preventative detention challenged by the defendant Ola Bini, through the filing of appeal. Read about it here.
May 2, 2019
Ola Bini's preventative imprisonment appeal hearing takes place. The tibunal of the Provincial Court of Pichincha, formed by de judges: Juana Pacheco, Fabián Fabara and Maritza Romero (who voted in favor of Ola's release) decides that Ola remains in prison and is sent back to the El Inca Provisional Detention Center.
May 5, 2019
The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) demands the inmediate release of Ola Bini.
May 7, 2019
The Working Group of Arbitrary Detention and the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression (UN), and the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (OAS) sent and urgent appeal to the Ecuadorian government showing their concern for the arrest of Ola Bini.
June 19, 2019
The Human Rights organization - INREDH - presented an amicus curiae (interested thrid party) for the Habeas Corpus action requested in favor of Ola Bini.
June 20, 2019
The Habeas Corpus hearing in favor of Ola Bini takes place in the Provincial Court of Pichincha. The tribunal in charge ruled that Ola's detention was illegitimate, arbitrary and illegal. Ola was released from prison that same night. to continue with his defense in liberty.
July 4, 2019
The Rights and Justice Observatory (ODJ) publishes a report about the arrest and deprivation of freedom of Ola Bini, identifying violations of due process and right of defense, and violations of the independence of the judiciary in addition to the public statements of officials about the case.
August 2, 2019
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) visited Ecuador to carry out an investigation about the case. After having held interviews with jurists, academics, journalists, and political actors, they concluded that Ola Bini's case is politically motivated, not criminally justified.
August 13, 2019
During the XII Latin American and Caribbean Internet Governance Forum (LACIGF) held in La Paz, international human rights organizations and experts in the digital field rejected the political persecution against Ola Bini. This time, the emphasis was placed on evidentiary weakness.
August 18, 2019
Before, Bini's technical defense, a media outled had access to supposed evidence that would be "evidence" for an alleged hack commited by Ola Bini in 2015 against the National Telecommunicatiions Corporation (CNT). Such finding was widely rejected by the national and international digital community. The Electronic Frontair Foundation (EFF) made a technical report in which they explained why such and image was not proof of hacking.
August 23, 2019
Before Bini's technical defense, a media outlet had access to alleged evidence that would account for an alleged "hack" committed by Ola Bini in 2015 against the National Telecommunications Corporation (CNT). This claim was widely rejected by the national and international digital community. The Electronic Frontier Foundation made a technical report in which it explained why such an image was not proof of a hack.
August 26, 2019
Amnesty International denounces that the Ecuadorian government interferes in the criminal process against Ola Bini. For this reason, after identifying human rights violations and after having recognized the activist as a human rights defenter in the digital sphere, the organization announces that thet will monitor the development of the case.
September 3, 2019
The State Attorney General's Office (FGE), without providing evidence regarding the original charges against Bini for an alleged attack to a computer system, decides to charge the activist with a new criminal offense: non-consensual access to a computer system. To do this, they based on the screenshot leaked to the media that was technically questioned by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Civil society organizations publicly declared that the reformulation of charges was carried out irregularity and without technical grounds.
September 6, 2019
Amnesty International makes a statement rejecting the violent raid carried out by the State Attorney General's Office against technical expert of the Bini's defense. They claim that those actions put Ola Bini's right to a fair trial at rist and seek to intimidate his legal team.
September 19, 2019
The Andean University Simón Bolivar (UASB) and civil society organizations convene in an academic event about the criminalization of knowledge and digital activism regarding Ola Bini's case. The discussion reflected how the political and judicial actions related to the criminal process affect the effective exercise of human rights in the digital sphere in the country.
December 17, 2019
During the Global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held in Berlin at the end of 2019, national and international organizations, once again, rejected the political persecution against Ola Bini publicly. In addition to that, they insisted claiming that the case is part of the process of global persecution against experts, researchers and defenders of digital rights.
January 20, 2020
The Latin American organization, Derechos Digitales, publishes its annual report on the state of digital rights in the region during 2019. The fifth chapter "The criminalization of technical knowledge. The persecution of digital activists in Latin America" (pages 27-31) incorporates the case of Ola Bini as an example of legal-political criminalization.
January 22, 2020
The Rights and Justice Observatory (ODJ) publish a new report about the threats to judicial independence in Ecuador, focusing on the pressure and harassment of judicial operators in high-profile publis cases during the government of Lenin Moreno, they highlight the case of Ola Bini.
February 24, 2020
The Office of the Special Rapporte for Freedom of Expression (RELE) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), includes de case of Ola Bini in its 2019 annual report (pages 144 to 147), showing their continous monitoring of the main facts surrounding Ola's judicial process.
March 03, 2020
During the (failed) reinstatement of the prepararoty trial hearing, Amnesty International demanded that the Ecuadorian authorities "guarantee a fair trial and monitor respect for the guarantees of due process in the case of digital defender Ola Bini"
After several postponements, the pretrial hearing in Ola Bini's case was supposed to happen on March 17, 2020. For it, the Observarion Mission was formed, made up of national, regional and global organizations. Due to the number and variety or organizations, it's likely the most important in the judicial history of Ecuador. Due to the health emergency, the hearing was not held.
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) takes Ola Bini's case as a priority to be addressed at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. In their description, they consider the case as an example of the global trend of presecution against human rights defenders in general, and digital rights defenders in particular.
March 12, 2020
At the end of their visit to Ecuador, during their campaing to support Amanozian Women, Amnesty International recommended that the Ecuadorian State adopt a public policy for the protection of human rights defenders. Their statement, includes the case of Ola Bini as one of the reasons for the urgent construction of such policy.
December 02, 2020
After several months of waiting, the pretrial hearing would be held on December 3, 2020. For this, a new observation mission was organized.
December 03, 2020
In the reinstatement of the hearing, the Judge in charge of the process, Dr. Yadira Proaño, did not allow the person to enter delegated by the Observation Mission, violating the principle of publicity. The judge decided to suspend the hearing to analyze the arguments of the parties regarding "vices that could affect the validity of the process". The hearing would be reinstaled on December 16.
Once again, Amnesty International call of the Ecuadorian authorities to respect the principles of legal certainty in the Ola Bini case and recognize the importance and legitimacy of the word carried out by defenders of digital rights.
December 15, 2020
Due to alleged illegal survilance, the technical defense of Ola Bini presented, at the beginning of October 2020, a Habeas Data lawsuit. The hearing in question was held remotelly on December 15. For this purpose, the Observation MIssion that watched the pretrial hearing also announced their monitoring of this process.
December 20, 2020
Due to the reinstatement of the pretrial hearing, Luis Enríquez, director of the Cyber-Rights and Techno-Society Observatory of the Andean University Simón Bolivar (UASB), published an academic article on the case in which he highlights that, due to how the process has been developed, the presumption of innocence and the right to encryption are at stake.
March 12, 2021
After the announcement of a new date for the Habeas Data hearing, the Latin American organization Derechos Digitales published an article in which they make a brief summary of the case and highlight the need to end the persecution against Ola Bini. In their words, Ola's is a paradigmatic case for the validity of digital human rights in the region.
March 30, 2021
In its 2020 annual report, the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression (RELE) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) mentions Ola Bini's case warning about the constant deferrals of hearing, they also highlight the creation of the Observation Mission of Civil Society Organizations and they remark the request for information from the State through the Habeas Data lawsuit.
April 21, 2021
During the 17th edition of the Latin American Free Software Installation Festival (FLISOL), various regional civil society organizations published a new statement rejecting the government persecution against Ola Bini. In this document, they expressed their deep concern about the criminalization of those who work in defense of rights in the digital world.
April 26, 2021
Red Kapari, and alternative media outled, published an article recounting the violations of due process and violations of Human Rights in the case of Ola Bini. In addition to that, they highlighted the relevance of the case for the validity of human rights on the Internet.
April 29, 2021
After several delays, the Habeas Data hearing was held virtually on April 22, 2021. The Observarion Mission published a report in which they remarked a partial victory for Ola Bine, since the judge who heard the case ruled against the Center of Strategic Intelligence (CIES) forcing it to immediately hand over all the information it has about the activist.
June 28, 2021
Once again, Amnesty Internationsl urges the Ecuadorian authorities to respect the guarantee of due process in Ola Bini's case and once again demands recognition of the legitimacy and importance of the work carrid out by Ola.
The EFF sent a letter to the Human Rights Secretariat of Ecuador exposing Ola Bini's case, as well as their concern about the constant violation of due process. In addition to that, they shared an analysis of the main evidence presented by the State Attorney General's office (FGE) against Ola, technically arguing that such a photo does not prove any crime, but rather shows that there was not even an attempt to access the cited system.
July 01, 2021
After Judge Proaño called Ola Bini to trial on June 29, 2021, INREDH, an Ecuadorian human rights organization, organized a Twitter Space in order to clarify the case for the public opinion. Special emphasis was put on the violations of due process, the technical reasons whe there is no proven crime and the risk that the case entails for the survillance of digital rights in Ecuador.
July 12, 2021
The Observation Mission publishes is observation report after the pretrial hearing is concluded. In the document, the Mission draws attention to the way in which the hearing was reinstated and warns about the terms (in form and substance) in which Judge Proaño decides to call Bini to trial.
July 26, 2021
CONAIE haild the recusal of Judge Proaño and point out that Ola bini is a case of political persecution.
August 30, 2021
Access Now, a global organization dedicated to the defense of Human Rights in the digital age, and the Ciberlay Clinic of Harvard Law School, publish a report on the persecution of digital experts in Latin America. The report analyzes legislation in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico that put information security researchers at rist, makes recommendations for change, and describes paradigmatic cases of persecution, including that of Ola Bini.
September 15, 2021
INREDH, an Ecuadorian Human Rights organization, organizes a new Twitter Space to analyze and share the report "The persecution of the information security community in Latin America" prepared by Access Now and the Ciberlaw Clinic of the Faculty of Law of the Harvard University. From a legal and technical point of view, the speakers highlight Ola Bini's case as paradigmatic regarding the level of persecution that can be reached, and because of the derivation that cited judicial process can have in terms of human rights.
October 14, 2021
The OCT and UASB promote the evente "Ola Bini's case. The persecution of the information security community in Latin America" to analyze the conclusions of the Access Now and the Harvard Cyberlaw Clinic report.
October 18, 2021
The Tor Project announces that Roger Dingledine, one of its founders, will give a technical tertimony in the trial against Ola Bini. The organization maintains that it does so based on its mission: to promote human rights and the deployment of free and open source anonymity and privacy technologies.
October 19, 2021
ODJ draws attention to a new deferral in Ola Bini's case, this time due to the suspension of the trial hearing at the request of the National Telecommunications Corporation (CNT).
EFF publishes a new article in which they make a new review of the latest events surrounding the case and insist that the evidence presented is "alarmingly weak".
November 10, 2021
In a new article, HRW insist that the process against Ola, as it is being carried out, may have serious consequences for digital rights. In addition to that, after reviewing the image (main evidence of the FGE), the concluded that there is no evidence of crime. Likewise, as part of the suspicions expressed by the Observarions Mission regarding the case, they concluded that the process puts encryption as a practice to ensure fundamental rights at risk.
130 social organizations and experts call the members of the ad hoc Committee responsible for drafting a possible United Nations Cybercrime Treaty, to ensure that human rights protections are integrated into the final text. The letter describes Ola's case as an example of persecution of a digital expert based on legislation that does not take into account the protection of human rights.
January 18, 2022
Amnesty Tech call on the Ecuadorian authorities to respect the right to a fair trial. They also claim that the case has implications for the rights of defenders of digital rights, who are increasingly being presecuted.
January 19 to 21, 2022
As the organization delegated by the Mission of observe the trial hearing, ODJ publishes a series of Twitter threads related to the central elements of their oversight. Among the most relevant elements, the lack of procedural and technical rigor from the FGE and the violations of due process and the confirmation of human rights violations stant out.
January 21, 2022
As the organization delegated by the Mission to observe the trial hearing, INREDH publish a statement with conclusions about its oversight. In this regard, they highlight new vulnerabilities to due process, especially from the FGE, and identifies the political pressure on justice operators.
April 8, 2022
After the raid of the offices of the Digital Autonomy Center (CAD), an organization led by Ola Bini, national and international civil society organizations rejected the procedure as irregular and violent, while announcing their monitoring of the situation.
- Fundación Acceso
- LaLibre Tecnologías Comunitarias
- IDD LAC
- ARTICLE 19 MX-CA
- The Tor Project
- Kapari Comunication
After the raid of the offices of the Center for Digital Autonomy (CAD), an organization led by Ola Bini, FUNDAMEDIOS denounced that the diligence was carried out without lawyers and without a court order.
After the raid of the offices of the Center for Digital Autonomy (CAD), an organization led by Ola Bini, Pedro Vaca announced his monitoring to the procedure and called on the authorities to respect all guarantees.
APC and Derechos Digitales prepared a report on the situation of human rights in Ecuador for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in which they included Ola Bini's case as a paradigmatic process in terms of the criminalizations of encryption and the work of digital security experts.
April 28, 2022
Mil Hojas Foundation, together with other civil society organizations, prepared a shadow report on the situation of human rights in Ecuador, with a view to the UPR, including Ola Bini's case, with special emphasis on the political motivations of the case and the Habeas Data lawsuit.
May 9, 2022
The 19 national, regional and global organizations that permanently monitor the case prepared a report highlighting the procedural and human rights violations against Ola, the technical weakness of the case and its implications for human rights oversight. In digital environments, after 3 years of monitoring the case.
May 19, 2022
The Permanent Committee for the Defense of Human Rights included the case of Ola bini in its annual report of 2021, emphasizing the Habeas Data lawsuit.
May 26, 2022
In its annual report, the RELE-IACHR once again highlight worrying elements about the process followed against Ola Bini. This time, they draw special attention to: presistent dalays in the judicial process, violations of the guarantees of due process and the right to defense, lack of knowledge in a precise, and duly detailed manner of the facts that constitute criminal conduct and the monitoring of human rights organizations in digital environments.
June 4, 2022
During the Latin American Free Software Installation Festival, held in Quito, a panel took place in which the situation of Free Software in times of persecution was addressed, treating, from different perspectives, the Ola Bini case as emblematic.
February 01, 2023
Pedro Vaca, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the IACHR, referred to the declaration of innocence of Ola Bini, stating that "he registers and welcomes the decision of the Ecuadorian justice"