Twenty Seven Protestors Face Trial

( [email protected] ) Jan 27, 2004 12:49 PM EST

Twenty-seven human rights activists, most of whom are Christian, who participated in a November protest demanding the closing of a U.S.-run army school for foreign soldiers, were sentenced to up to six months in federal prison for civil disobedience, Monday, Jan. 26.

Among those sentenced was the Rev. Ben Jimenez of Cleveland, a Jesuit priest jailed since the November protest at Fort Benning. He was sentenced to time served and released.

The protesters have said the school, named the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, has trained foreign troops who went on to commit rape, murder and other crimes in Latin America.

U.S. Magistrate G. Mallon Faircloth previously dismissed cases against 14 others who took part in the November protest while prosecutors dismissed charges against one protester. Nine others will face trials at a federal courthouse in Columbus, Ga., today.