Tag Archives: Venezuela

Venezuela: Maduro’s power grab can teach us how to defend against tyranny

May 24, 2018

Marco Rubio: It's time to hasten Maduro's exit from power

Without a hint of irony, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro tweeted, “Let the world know. Millions of people are voting freely … In Venezuela, it is the people who elect the president.”

 

The world, of course, already knows, as do the Venezuelan people, that the country long ago ceased to be a democracy. Maduro, no matter what he claims happened in Sunday’s election, is a dictator.
At a time when a global wave of authoritarianism is rising, a closer look at the Venezuelan tragedy reveals what was at the center of the power-grab: the dismantlement of the rule of law. It was this crucial tactic that turned one of Latin America’s most enduring democracies into a basket case of social and economic collapse.

Venezuela offers a case study in how by politicizing the law, the regime — incompetent in every other respect — managed to seize control of the country without the need to impose military rule.
It is no surprise that the World Justice Project ranks Venezuela dead last in its global Rule of Law Index.

Although the constitution guaranteed judicial independence, the Supreme Court, through its Judicial Commission, has the power to remove at will any of the “provisional” judges — more than half of the judges in Venezuela. According to the International Commission of Jurists, “the separation of powers is non-existent,” in Venezuela. The judiciary has become an instrument of the President and his party.

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/24/opinions/venezuela-maduro-dictatorship-opinion-ghitis/index.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judiciary_of_Venezuela

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Venezuela: Calling for the Immediate Release of Detained Venezuelan Lawyers

May 17, 2018

Civil Rights Defenders calls for the immediate release of Venezuelan human rights lawyers Orlando Gonzalez and Oscar Rios of Foro Penal, detained yesterday, 16 May.

As reported by Rachel Sanchez, working as a coordinator at Foro Penal in Táchira state in western Venezuela, her two colleagues were detained at lunchtime by Fuerzas de Acciones Especiales, FAES, a special division of the Venezuelan National Police, supposedly responsible for combating organised crime. They have not been heard of since.

The fact that several human rights organisations in Venezuela accuse FAES for hundreds of extrajudicial killings the last couple of years, increases Civil Right Defenders’ preoccupation with the security of Orlando Gonzalez and Oscar Rios.

https://crd.org/2018/05/17/calling-for-the-immediate-release-of-detained-venezuelan-lawyers/

http://www.ntn24.com/america-latina/venezuela/abogados-del-foro-penal-fueron-detenidos-en-tachira-88528 (ESPANOL)

http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/sucesos/detuvieron-dos-abogados-del-foro-penal-tachira_235491 (ESPANOL)

https://www.aporrea.org/ddhh/n325256.html (ESPANOL)

Venezuela: PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE’S RELEASE BLOCKED

April 27, 2018

Image result for abogada geraldine chacon

Gregory Hinds and Geraldine Chacón have been arbitrarily detained in custody of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) in Caracas, Venezuela, since 31 January and 1 February, respectively. Both were issued a release warrant on 2 April, but the SEBIN refuses to comply with the warrant. They are prisoners of conscience who must be released immediately and unconditionally.

Venezuelan authorities brought Gregory Hinds, 32, to the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional, SEBIN) facilities for alleged interviews on 31 January. A few hours later, during the night of 1 February SEBIN officials picked up Geraldine Chacón, 24, at her home, and brought her to their facilities under the same argument. Despite there being no arrest warrants against them, both prisoners of conscience have been detained and held incommunicado ever since. Moreover, on 2 April, the competent court issued a release warrant on their names, but the SEBIN has not complied with it, and they both remain arbitrarily deprived of their liberty.

Officers at SEBIN facilities, both at administrative headquarters and at the detention centre, have stated that they do not have orders to comply with Gregory Hinds and Geraldine Chacón’s release warrants. SEBIN officers told relatives and lawyers of both prisoners of conscience that they were unaware of the location of their release warrant, or that the system has been down since early April.

https://ua.amnesty.ch/urgent-actions/2018/04/081-18?ua_language=en

http://accionlibertad.org/geraldine-chacon/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.amnistia.org/ve/blog/2018/04/5565/geraldine-chacon-debe-ser-liberada-inmediatamente (ESPANOL)

https://www.analitica.com/actualidad/tribunal-ordena-al-sebin-liberar-a-gregory-y-geraldine/ (ESPANOL)

http://efectococuyo.com/principales/geraldine-chacon-y-gregory-hinds-siguen-presos-en-el-sebin-pese-a-boletas-de-excarcelacion/ (ESPANOL)

International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

Image result for international bar association

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has launched its 2017 Annual Review, providing an overview of the IBAHRI’s major activities over the year.

2017 was a difficult year for human rights: since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted 70 years ago, it appears that we are now reaching a point where the universal acceptance of human rights is being eroded. Increasingly polarised political spheres and growing support for populist governments are resulting in policies that scapegoat minorities, attack the under-represented and persecute those who oppose these governments.

In this atmosphere, protection of human rights, the rule of law and an independent legal profession are more important than ever. This makes the work of the IBAHRI more important than ever. Since its establishment in 1995, the IBAHRI has endeavoured to defend fundamental human rights through the promotion and protection of the independence of the legal profession, and by providing members of the global legal community with the tools needed to do the same.

 

As part of its ongoing projects in the Americas, the IBAHRI provided torture-prevention training to legal professionals, including judges and public defenders, across Brazil and Mexico. In El Salvador, the IBAHRI brought a high-level delegation of experts on the rights to justice, truth and historical memory to meet with legal professionals, the executive, armed forces, CSOs and academia with a view to achieving justice effectively and realising the rights of those who suffered human rights abuses as a result of the 12-year civil war. Additionally, the IBAHRI continued to monitor the emblematic trial of Venezuelan Judge María Lourdes Afiuni, and sent open letters to President Donald Trump of the United States, which criticised the President and his administration for actions the IBAHRI felt were ‘diametrically opposed to the defence of human rights’.

In Asia Pacific, the IBAHRI worked with the newly established Independent Lawyers’ Association of Myanmar to continue its work in the country, and has been running a trial observation programme to ensure those responsible for the death of prominent lawyer U Ko Ni are brought to justice. In Timor-Leste, the IBAHRI has consolidated its presence in the country by seeking to strengthen the legal profession and supporting the creation of its first national bar association.

The IBAHRI launched a mentorship programme for junior Azerbaijani lawyers that linked them with more experienced senior lawyers, and held a Law Student Conference in Baku, among other activities intended to advocate for the rights of legal professionals in the country. We also facilitated attendance at various OSCE Meetings for lawyers in GeorgiaKazakhstan and Tajikistan as part of the IBAHRI’s ongoing work in Europe and Central Asia.

https://www.ibanet.org/Human_Rights_Institute/Human-Rights-Institute-Annual-Review-2017.aspx

https://www.protect-lawyers.com/fr/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/07/23/joint-letter-eu-regarding-human-rights-situation-tajikistan

In Tajikistan, reforms undertaken by the Qualifications Committee set up by the Ministry of Justice drastically decreased the number of practising lawyers.

Read more about the situation of Tajik lawyers and the work the IBAHRI has done in partnership with the Tajikistan Barristers’ Union here:https://tinyurl.com/y7rhftx4

(International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute Facebook, 9/5/18)

Venezuela/Argentina: Argentine Human Rights Lawyer Is Latest Venezuelan Detainee to Flee

March 19, 2018

Image result for Marcelo Crovato

An Argentine-Venezuelan rights lawyer became the latest activist to escape detention by President Nicolas Maduro’s government and flee Venezuela over the weekend.

 

“I am so happy to be free, but so sad for what’s left behind,” Marcelo Crovato, 51, told Reuters after reaching Colombia from where he was flying to Argentina later on Monday.

 

Crovato was detained at his Caracas home in 2014 while working for a rights group defending young protesters during a wave of demonstrations against Maduro’s socialist government. Forty-three people were killed and thousands were injured during the unrest.

 

He spent 10 months at a prison where he had once served as director, before being granted house arrest.

 

Speaking by telephone from Colombia, Crovato declined to give full details of his escape for fear of retaliation against friends or relatives by Venezuelan intelligence agents.

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-03-19/argentine-human-rights-lawyer-is-latest-venezuelan-detainee-to-flee

https://www.voanews.com/a/argentina-human-rights-lawyer-venezuela-detainee-flee/4305385.html

https://www.sinmordaza.com/noticia/493237-el-calvario-del-argentino-venezolano-marcelo-crovato.html (ESPANOL)

http://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/mundo/america-latina/venezuela-es/article205744629.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.lanacion.com.ar/2118067-marcelo-crovato-tuve-que-tomar-esta-decision-de-huir-porque-me-iba-a-morir-preso (ESPANOL)

https://elcomercio.pe/mundo/latinoamerica/calvario-marcelo-crovato-argentino-estuvo-1-426-dias-preso-politico-venezuela-noticia-507588 (ESPANOL)

http://www.continental.com.ar/noticias/internacional/la-historia-de-marcelo-crovato-el-preso-politico-argentino-que-logro-escapar-de-venezuela/20180319/nota/3725681.aspx (ESPANOL)

https://www.boursorama.com/actualite-economique/actualites/venezuela-un-avocat-opposant-a-maduro-fuit-en-colombie-b2fd455bb53e89af2a518019795b829b (FRANCAIS)

http://fr.africatime.com/ouganda/db/venezuela-un-avocat-opposant-maduro-fuit-en-colombie (FRANCAIS)

Venezuela: Venezuela frees 85-year-old government opponent after day of detention

February 3, 2018

Image result for Enrique Aristeguieta Gramcko

Venezuela late on Friday freed an 85-year-old activist, who is the sole survivor of a clandestine group that fought a 1950s military dictatorship, after he was detained by intelligence agents for a day.

The family of lawyer Enrique Aristeguieta and the political party Justice First said he was taken from his home in Caracas in the early hours of Friday, with no explanation from authorities.

“Full freedom for Enrique Aristeguieta and we’ll also achieve that for Venezuela,” said hard-line opposition leader Maria Corina Machado.

Aristeguieta is an outspoken opposition campaigner who regularly compares what he calls the “narco-tyranny” of socialist President Nicolas Maduro to the 1952-1958 dictatorship of Marcos Perez.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/venezuela-frees-85-year-old-government-opponent-after-day-of-detention-9924522

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-detention/venezuela-frees-85-year-old-government-opponent-after-day-of-detention-idUSKBN1FN0F9?il=0

https://www.themaven.net/humanrightsfoundation/americas/venezuelan-political-police-arrests-85-year-old-intellectual-tmN-d0qgskaQATvUWsyBcg

https://www.caracaschronicles.com/2018/02/03/a-large-prison/

http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/politica/personalidades-pronunciaron-tras-liberacion-enrique-aristeguieta_221686 (ESPANOL)

http://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/mundo/america-latina/venezuela-es/article198005594.html (ESPANOL)

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrique_Aristeguieta_Gramcko (ESPANOL)

https://oglobo.globo.com/mundo/justica-venezuelana-libera-ativista-critico-ao-presidente-maduro-22361942 (PORTUGUES)

Venezuela: UN Watch Condemns Venezuela for Arrest of 85-year-old Activist

February 2, 2018

UN Watch Condemns Venezuela for Arrest of 85-year-old Activist

UN Watch, a Geneva-based monitoring group, condemned Venezuela for arresting an 85-year-old activist in the middle of last night, taken from his home in Caracas at 3:00 a.m. by security forces.

Agents of the Sebin intelligence service have detained Enrique Aristeguieta Gramcko, an eminent lawyer, historian, and former politician who is active in two groups that have criticized the repressive Maduro regime. He is the president of the Great National Alliance (GANA), and a board member of Soy Venezuela.

“Venezuela’s arbitrary detention of Mr. Aristeguieta Gramcko is a breach of due process, and violates the government’s basic obligations as a member of the UN Human Rights Council,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

“We demand the immediate release of Mr. Aristeguieta Gramcko and all other political prisoners, and we call on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to speak out immediately to demand his freedom. We continue to demand an urgent session of the UNHRC to address ongoing gross and systematic abuses by Venezuela’s Maduro regime.”

Mr. Aristeguieta Gramcko played a crucial role in the birth of Venezuelan democracy. He was a member of the Junta Patriotica, a congressman, ambassador to the Caribbean, deputy minister of home affairs, governor of the Nueva Esparta state, and president of the Supreme Electoral Council.

He is a widely-respected figure in Venezuelan society, revered over many years for his tireless defense of political and civil liberties and democracy in Venezuela.

There is currently no information about his whereabouts.

http://canadafreepress.com/article/un-watch-condemns-venezuela-for-arrest-of-85-year-old-activist

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1802/S00036/un-watch-condemns-venezuela-arrest-of-85-year-old-activist.htm

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/venezuela/article198143149.html

https://es.panampost.com/sabrina-martin/2018/02/02/venezuela-policia-politica-detiene-a-enrique-aristeguieta-gramcko-un-duro-critico-de-la-dictadura-de-85-anos/ (ESPANOL)

http://www.venezuelaaldia.com/2018/02/02/fiscal-ortega-diaz-repudia-arbitraria-detencion-enrique-aristeguieta/ (ESPANOL)

http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/presos-politicos/fue-otorgada-libertad-plena-enrique-aristeguieta-gramcko_221644 (ESPANOL)

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrique_Aristeguieta_Gramcko (ESPANOL)

http://www.idhae.org/OBSAV-fr-wewsven180202.htm (FRANCAIS)