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'I am willing to die for justice': Rubiales' mother locks herself in church and goes on hunger strike

by Kelly Valencia

Angeles Bejar, the mother of suspended Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales, has expressed to a Spanish TV channel that she's prepared to "die for justice." Her son is currently under scrutiny for kissing Spain forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips at the World Cup final.

Rubiales' actions have sparked a global outcry, with accusations directed at him for both transgressing Hermoso's boundaries and diverting attention from Spain's victory. He vehemently denies any wrongdoing, while Hermoso states that the kiss was not consensual.

Rubiales made it clear he would not resign on Friday, but subsequently faced suspension by world football's governing body, FIFA, on Saturday.

Now, Rubiales' mother, aged 77, has taken refuge within her local parish, Divina Pastora in Motril, the town where Rubiales was raised.

"I will remain here for as long as my body can," Bejar communicated to Telecinco TV via WhatsApp. "I am willing to die for justice because my son is a decent person and it is not fair what they’re doing."

"I just want her [Jenni Hermoso] to tell the truth and stick to the version she had when all this started," Bejar expressed. "There is no sexual abuse as there is consent on both sides, as is shown in the images. Why are they being cruel to him? What is behind all this story? He is incapable of harming anyone. I believe a lot in God and I ask for the truth."

Rubiales' cousin Vanessa Ruiz, who serves as a family spokesperson in Motril, conveyed, "We are suffering a lot for him. He has been judged before his time. They (media) don't stop harassing us. We had to leave our house. We want them to leave us alone and for Jenni to tell the truth. It's not fair."

Local media reports say that Bejar went into the church when it was closed, right as the cleaning lady attended the church for maintenance. She saw her chance because the priest was away on holiday.

It's understood she's only drinking liquids and it is unknown for how long she will keep the hunger strike going.

Rubiales is understood to be in "constant communication" with Bejar although it us unclear if he is still on holiday in the town. 

There's a mass planned at the church this evening, but it's not clear if police escorts will return to the church to try to persuade Bejar to end her protest.

While it is believed the priest has cut short his holiday, he has refrained from issuing any statements.

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