Newsletter Nº 135, Political Prisoners in Venezuela

U.N. rights boss sees possible «crimes against humanity» in Venezuela

September 11, 2017

The United Nations human rights chief said on Monday that Venezuelan security forces may have committed crimes against humanity against protesters and called for an international investigation.

But Venezuela’s foreign minister defended the record of the government of President Nicolas Maduro, rejecting the allegations as “baseless”.

Venezuela has been convulsed by months of demonstrations against the leftist president who critics say has plunged the oil-rich country into the worst economic crisis in its history and is turning it into a dictatorship. Read more

Jailed Venezuelan Congressman Will Sew His Lips Shut to Protest Military Court’s Silence

September 12, 2017

Gilber Caro is one of the congressmen in Venezuela who make up the political opposition fighting President Nicolás Maduro and his regime. He’s been in prison for more than six months as a result, virtually powerless there — that is, until he decided to start a hunger strike.

He wants to be transferred to the military prison of Ramo Verde on Monday, August 11, where he will have a better change of making it to a trial that has long been delayed.

“I, Gilber Alexander Caro, an adult Venezuelan, a deputy congressman of the Bolivarian Republic of the National Assembly, make it clear that after asking for our freedom and in hopes that we will receive it, I would like to be transferred to the Ramo Verde prison, city of Los Teques of Miranda state,” begins the letter he wrote. Read more

OAS Begins Investigation into Crimes against Humanity in Venezuela

September 12, 2017

The Organization of American States will open hearings to investigate crimes against humanity committed by the regime of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, with the ultimate goal of reporting it to the International Criminal Court.

The OAS will reportedly conduct its initial meetings in Washington, D.C. under the leadership of Luis Moreno Ocampo, who was appointed in July.

The first hearing will be held this Thursday, September 14 with Venezuelan civilians. The second will be held on Friday with members of the Venezuelan Armed Forces. The following sessions are not yet scheduled, but are expected to take place in September and October at the OAS headquarters in Washington.Read more

UK leader meets detained Venezuela opposition chief’s mother

September 7, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May has met with the mother of detained Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez and says she is «deeply troubled» by the jailing of political prisoners in the country.

May met Thursday at 10 Downing St. with Antonieta Lopez and with Julio Borges, president of the Venezuelan National Assembly.

Lopez is under house arrest after being released from a jail sentence for leading anti-government demonstrations. May said his detention was «a matter of great concern.»

May urged President Nicolas Maduro’s government to «ensure that human rights, the rule of law, the separation of powers and the integrity of democratic institutions are respected.» Read more

Spain pushes EU to adopt restrictive measures against Venezuela

September 5, 2017

Spain is pushing for the European Union to adopt restrictive measures against members of the Venezuelan government as a way of encouraging a return to constitutional order in the crisis-hit country, the Spanish foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The head of Venezuela’s opposition-led congress, Julio Borges, visited Spain on Tuesday to meet Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as part of a European tour seeking support against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro’s government has been criticized by the United Nations, Washington and other governments for failing to allow the entry of foreign aid to ease an economic crisis, while it overrides congress and jails hundreds of opponents. Read more

Venezuela Supreme Court Has Staged Effective Coup: Jurists’ Group

September 12, 2017

Venezuela’s Supreme Court has progressively dismantled the rule of law, becoming an instrument of President Nicolas Maduro’s government in what amounts to a coup against the constitutional order, an international human rights group said on Tuesday.

The collapse of the judiciary has left victims of torture, killings and disappearances and their families without recourse to justice after months of violent street protests, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said. It called on the U.N. Human Rights Council to take action. Read more

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