UN says Venezuelan courts are involved in human rights abuses


Antonio Maria Delgado
From Miami Herald

Venezuela’s judicial system is so unjustified that its courts are used as a means of oppression used to arbitrarily imprison activists and political opponents against the Nicolas Maduro administration, keeping an eye on the rise in human rights abuses. Yes, a UN report said Thursday.

In a 200-page report released Thursday in Geneva, Venezuela’s UN fact-finding team forged evidence that Maduro intelligence routinely persecuted activists and political opponents and arrested them for political reasons. Performed said he was using torture, enforced disappearances, and even extrajudicial killings.

The mission said members of the judiciary would share responsibility for human rights abuses with Maduro and other high-ranking government officials.

Repeated due process violations in Venezuela reveal that the judiciary lacks independence and serious human rights abuses against the administration’s opponents have not been curbed, according to the report.

“Judges and prosecutors have played an important role in the serious violations of human rights abuses committed by various parties in the Venezuelan state against supposed or real adversaries through their actions and omissions.” Said Mission President Martha Barinhas.

The mission said there was reason to believe that senior government officials, including Maduro and the Prime Minister, did not order, participate in or prevent human rights abuses.

A UN group has been appointed to investigate a series of serious allegations made in Venezuela, including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, torture, and sexual violence. Most of these actions were perceived as a threat to the administration and were directed at government critics or prominent individuals enforced by the court system.

“In the midst of Venezuela’s serious human rights crisis, judicial independence has been severely undermined, jeopardizing its role in giving justice and protecting individual rights,” Barinhas said. “In our latest investigation, under heightened political pressure, judges and prosecutors, through their actions and omissions, against actual and perceived enemies committed by officials in various states of Venezuela. I have found a reasonable basis for believing that it played an important role in serious violations and crimes. “

Of the many cases of human rights abuses considered, the Commission found no evidence that senior officials were being investigated or prosecuted on suspicion of involvement.

The report details the 2015 death of opposition leader Fernando Alban, who died from the 10th floor while detained at the Bolivar National Intelligence Service headquarters, and the 2018 death of military officer Rafael Acosta Alevaro in a Venezuelan court. Stated. He was tortured by security forces.

Francisco Cox Vial, a member of the United Nations mission, said:

“The centrality of the judicial system against the human rights crisis in Venezuela cannot be exaggerated. Prosecution and judicial officials, if properly fulfilling their constitutional role, will prevent crimes and violations, or public security and intelligence. The institution could have severely impaired its ability to do them. “

According to the mission, the judge ordered pretrial detention as a routine rather than an exceptional measure, but the prosecutor and the judge did not show criminal activity and did not show the defendant’s participation. Continued detention and criminal prosecution based on the evidence.
In some cases, judges provided legal compensation for illegal arrests by issuing arrest warrants retroactively.

The mission also found reasonable grounds for believing that Venezuela’s high-level political actors had a significant impact on the judiciary.

Judges at all levels are regularly ordered on how to determine their case, according to sources in the judiciary. These orders are sometimes issued directly by senior government officials and through the leadership of the Supreme Court.

The judge, who refused to succumb to political pressure, was accused and threatened. The report referred to Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni’s 2009 arrest and prosecution.

This created a climate of horror, the report said. Almost half of the former judges and prosecutors interviewed had to leave Venezuela with many of their families for fear of their safety. Many others refused to speak to the mission for fear of retaliation, it said.

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