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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

United Nations says Venezuelan court involved human rights violations

Antonio Maria Delgado
From the Miami Herald

A United Nations report on Thursday stated that Venezuela’s judicial system is extremely unfair, and its courts have been used as a repressive tool to arbitrarily imprison militants and political opponents of the Nicolas Maduro regime. Turn a blind eye to human rights violations. .

In a 200-page report submitted by the United Nations Venezuela fact-finding mission in Geneva on Thursday, Maduro’s intelligence agencies often persecute activists and political opponents, fabricate evidence to arrest them for political reasons, and even use torture, Enforced disappearance and extrajudicial methods. Execution.

The delegation stated that members of the judiciary, Maduro and other senior regime officials share responsibility for human rights violations.

According to the report, the repeated violations of due process in Venezuela show that the judiciary lacks independence, leading to unstoppable serious violations of human rights by opponents of the regime.

The head of the delegation, Marta Valinhas, said: “Through their actions and inactions, judges and prosecutors have played an important role in the serious human rights violations of so-called or real opponents by different actors in Venezuela. “

The delegation stated that there are reasons to believe that senior government officials, including Maduro and senior ministers, have ordered, participated in, or failed to prevent human rights violations.

The UN team was appointed to investigate a series of serious allegations allegedly committed in Venezuela, including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, torture and sexual violence. Most of these actions are directed at government critics or celebrities whose actions are considered a threat to the regime and are enforced by the court system.

Valinhas said: “During the severe human rights crisis in Venezuela, the independence of the judiciary has been severely eroded, and its role in advancing justice and safeguarding individual rights has been threatened.” “Our recent investigation found that there are reasonable grounds to believe. Under the ever-increasing political pressure, judges and prosecutors, through their actions and inactions, have played an important role in the serious violations and crimes committed by various Venezuelan national actors against real and perceived opponents.”

In the many cases of human rights violations reviewed, the committee did not find any evidence that high-level officials were investigated or prosecuted for their alleged involvement.

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The report specifically mentions the 2015 opposition leader Fernando Albán (Fernando Albán) who fell from the 10th floor and died while being held at the headquarters of the Bolivar National Intelligence Agency, as well as the 2018 military officer Rafael Acosta Albán. Rafael Acosta Arévalo (Rafael Acosta Arévalo) died after being seriously injured in a Venezuelan court. Tortured by security forces.

Francisco Cox Vial, a member of the UN delegation, said: “The vast majority of human rights violations and criminal acts against government opponents that we have previously documented did not lead to thorough investigations of all suspected responsible persons. , Prosecution and conviction.”

“The centrality of the judicial system in the Venezuelan human rights crisis cannot be overemphasized. If prosecutors and judicial personnel performed their constitutional duties appropriately, they could have prevented crimes and illegal acts from occurring, or seriously hindered the implementation of public security and intelligence agencies. The capacity for these crimes and illegal acts.”

According to the delegation, pretrial detention ordered by judges is a routine measure, not an exceptional measure, and prosecutors and judges sometimes maintain detention and criminal charges based on evidence that does not indicate criminal conduct or proves the defendant’s involvement.
In some cases, judges provide legal protection for illegal arrests by issuing arrest warrants retrospectively.

The investigation team also found reasonable grounds to believe that Venezuelan senior politicians exerted a significant influence on the judicial department.

Sources from the judiciary report that judges at all levels usually receive orders on how to decide cases. Sometimes these orders come directly from senior government figures and are issued through the leadership of the Supreme Court.

Judges who refused to succumb to political pressure were slandered and intimidated. The report mentions the arrest and prosecution of Judge Maria Lourdes Afiouuni in 2009.

According to the report, this has led to an atmosphere of fear. Nearly half of the former judges and prosecutors interviewed and many of their family members had to leave Venezuela for fear of their safety; it stated that many others refused to talk to the delegation for fear of reprisals.

©2021 Miami Herald. Visit miamiherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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