Tag Archives: Venezuela

Venezuela: Venezuela row as National Assembly appoints judges

July 22, 2017

The judges at a swearing-in ceremony in Caracas

Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly has appointed 33 judges to the Supreme Court, prompting accusations of an attempted power grab.

The assembly says it has the right to name and fire justices under the country’s constitution.

But the court, which is largely made up of pro-government members, has described the move as illegal.

The opposition is stepping up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to call early elections.

Mr Maduro has refused and is instead going ahead with plans to form a constituent assembly which would have the power to rewrite the constitution and bypass the National Assembly.

The impasse has left Venezuela in a political crisis and scores of people have died in months of anti-government protests.

Following the National Assembly’s announcement, the government said it would not allow serving judges to be unseated.

The Supreme Court has ordered “civil and military authorities” to carry out “coercive actions” in response to the appointments, but it is unclear what that will entail.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-40690251

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKBN1A6205

http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?o=rn&id=15943&SEO=venezuelaas-supreme-court-declares-oppositionas-judges-invalid

http://www.lalibre.be/actu/international/crise-au-venezuela-la-communaute-internationale-hausse-le-ton-alors-que-la-barre-des-100-morts-a-ete-franchie-5972e4ffcd70d65d24e970c1 (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lepoint.fr/monde/venezuela-100-morts-depuis-le-debut-des-manifestations-de-l-opposition-21-07-2017-2144895_24.php (FRANCAIS)

Venezuela: Venezuela’s dissident state prosecutor expects to be fired

July 4, 2017

Venezuela’s pro-government Supreme Court heard a petition on Tuesday to remove dissident state prosecutor Luisa Ortega, who was expecting the ax after alleging rights abuses and erosion of democracy under President Nicolas Maduro.

Ortega, the main challenger to Maduro from within the ruling socialist movement during three months of opposition protests, said she would not recognize legal proceedings against her by an “unconstitutional and illegitimate” Supreme Court.

The internal fissure has emboldened anti-Maduro protesters, who have been staging near-daily demonstrations since April to demand early elections amid a devastating economic crisis that has millions struggling to eat properly.

“We already know they’re going to remove me today,” said Ortega in a speech at her office, slamming what she said was a “spurious” case designed to silence her.

“They’ve frozen my bank account, they’ve frozen my assets, and they’ve banned me from leaving the country. It appears that defending the constitution constitutes a crime,” she said, waving a small blue book of the charter written under Maduro’s predecessor and mentor, the late Hugo Chavez, in 1999.

The Supreme Court said, however, that it would issue a decision within five days on the charge brought by socialist lawmaker Pedro Carreno of “grave offense” against Ortega.

Officials have leveled a plethora of accusations against the a 59-year-old lawyer, from “insanity” and encouraging “terrorists” to misusing a confiscated plane.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKBN19P20L

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/30/venezuela-chief-prosecutor-luisa-ortega-diaz-protection-maduro

http://www.france24.com/en/20170704-venezuela-top-prosecutor-luisa-ortega-profile-maduro-opponent-crisis

https://guardian.ng/news/luisa-ortega-venezuelan-prosecutor-defying-president/

http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/226274/venezuela%E2%80%99s-chief-prosecutor-tries-to-resist-pressure-from-gov%E2%80%99t

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luisa_Ortega_D%C3%ADaz

http://www.france24.com/fr/20170709-venezuela-luisa-ortega-procureure-epine-chaviste-chaveznicolas-maduro-manifestion?ref=fb_i (FRANCAIS)

Venezuela: Gunmen kill Venezuelan judge at barricade as unrest over Maduro’s rule worsens

June 2, 2017

Gunmen kill Venezuelan judge at barricade as unrest over Maduro’s rule worsens

Gunmen shot dead a Venezuelan judge at a street barricade in the latest fatality of two months of anti-government unrest that has seen at least 61 people killed, authorities said on Thursday.

Nelson Moncada, 37, was killed and stripped of his belongings as he tried to get away from the roadblock on Wednesday night in Caracas’ El Paraiso district, the scene of regular clashes, the state prosecutor’s office said.

This week has seen widespread violence around the Venezuelan capital, with security forces repeatedly breaking up marches by opposition supporters toward government offices downtown, and skirmishes continuing into the night.

Protesters frequently block roads with trash and burning tires, sometimes asking passers-by for contributions toward a self-styled “Resistance” movement against President Nicolas Maduro.

It was unclear why the judge was targeted. Some local news sites said the incident appeared to be a robbery while others noted he had presided in the controversial case of Bassil Da Costa, a protester shot during another wave of anti-Maduro demonstrations in 2014.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/06/02/world/gunmen-kill-venezuelan-judge-barricade-unrest-maduros-rule-worsens/#.WTDYzmjyjIU

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/venezuela-judge-shot-dead-prosecutor-says-democracy-dying-20170601-01588

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/venezuelan-judge-killed-at-barricade-prosecutor-says-democracy-being-eliminated/article35180658/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/02/venezuela-judge-nelson-moncada-murder-political-motivation

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/06/02/Venezuela-investigating-shooting-death-of-Caracas-judge/9201496401578/

https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13169

http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/mundo/2017/06/1889866-morte-de-juiz-leva-a-guerra-de-versoes-entre-governo-e-oposicao-na-venezuela.shtml (PORTUGUES)

Argentina/Venezuela: Amnesty presses Venezuela, Argentina to release ‘political prisoners’

February 24, 2017

NGO’s top directors brand Latin America ‘most violent and unequal’

The directors of Amnesty International’s branches in Argentina and Venezuela have again called on their governments of both nations to release political prisoners, warning them for what the NGO perceives as their worsening human rights record, in a press conference at Amnesty International’s offices in Buenos Aires.

Amnesty International Venezuela Director Marcos Gómez began by criticising the Emergency Decree recently issued by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro adopting “discriminatory measures” that the executive claims will have “an almost criminal effect on the poor.”

Gómez also outlined his worries about systemic arbitrary detentions, and how the intelligence services in Venezuela is not following through with judicial rulings ordering the release of 18 prisoners. Civilians are also being tried in military tribunals, the NGO’s director warned, adding that journalists and human rights defenders are being persecuted and targeted by government-led media campaigns.

One of the human rights prisoners currently being detained is Argentine human rights lawyer Marcelo Crovato, who was first arrested in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2014.

Referring to two high-profile prisoners, both Gómez and Argentine Amnesty Director Mariela Belski stressed that demanding the release of Venezuelan politician Leopoldo López and Argentine activist Milagro Sala from jail were top priorities for the organisation. López is a Venezuelan politician who was first arrested in February 2014, and was later convicted of public incitement to violence.

http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/224775/amnesty-presses-venezuela-argentina-to-release-%E2%80%98political-prisoners%E2%80%99

http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/politica/amnistia-internacional-alerto-sobre-detenciones-arbitrarias_82338 (ESPANOL)

http://www.clarin.com/mundo/calvario-marcelo-crovato-unico-preso-politico-argentino-venezuela_0_BJy-3D3Fl.html (ESPANOL)

http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2017/02/22/america/1487793380_025361.html (ESPANOL)

Venezuela: The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concerns about the harassment of lawyer Juan Carlos Gutiérrez in Venezuela

June 24, 2016

The Law Society of Upper Canada

The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concerns about the harassment of lawyer Juan Carlos Gutiérrez in Venezuela.

Juan Carlos Gutiérrez is a lawyer and counsel to Venezuelan opposition leader and political prisoner Leopoldo López.

It has come to our attention that on 25 April 2016, Mr. Gutiérrez filed a formal complaint before the National Prosecutor’s Office. In his complaint, he stated that he was subjected to several humiliating practices by military authorities at the Ramo Verde Prison where Mr. López has been detained since February 2014. The impugning conduct includes: strip searches; verbal and physical assaults; and intrusive and inappropriate touching. Juan Carlos Gutiérrez also alleges he was deprived of several personal belongings by prison authorities.

Juan Carlos Gutiérrez asserts that his ability to represent his client has been impeded by unjustified restrictions on his communications with his client. Moreover, he alleges that prison authorities have eroded solicitor-client privilege by recording all of his meetings with his client and by reading, and occasionally confiscating, confidential lawyer-client communications without permission. Juan Carlos Gutiérrez alleges that prison authorities have photographed him without consent and have accessed information on his mobile phone.

The Law Society of Upper Canada urges the government of Venezuela to consider Articles 16 and 23 of the United Nations’Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers .

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147502856

http://www.newswire.ca/fr/news-releases/declaration-publique—le-barreau-du-haut-canada-tres-preoccupe-par-le-harcelement-de-lavocat-juan-carlos-gutierrez-584265821.html (FRANCAIS)

Venezuela: Murder of Lawyer Héctor Sáchez Lozada

May 12, 2016

On January 22, 2016, lawyer Héctor Sánchez Lozada was murdered in the city of Maturín, in the state of Monagas. He was travelling to meet another lawyer. Currently, the reasons for the crime and the perpetrators remain unknown.

Mr. Sánchez Lozada was a human rights lawyers and a member of the Human Rights Commission of the Federation of Venezuelan Bar Associations in the state of Monagas.

The UIA sent a letter to Venezuelan authorities to express its concern and to request a prompt, thorough and effective investigation (see below).

http://www.uianet.org/en/content/murder-lawyer-h%C3%A9ctor-s%C3%A1chez-lozada

Venezuela: IBAHRI concerned by harassment of lawyer Juan Carlos Gutiérrez in Venezuela

May 5, 2016

The alleged ongoing harassment of Juan Carlos Gutiérrez in Venezuela as he carries out his professional duties as defence lawyer for Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López is of great concern to the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI).

On 25 April 2016 Mr Gutiérrez filed a formal complaint before the National Prosecutor’s Office stating he was a victim of several humiliating practices carried out by the military authorities at the Ramo Verde prison where Mr López has been detained since February 2014. These included: invasive body searches; verbal and physical attacks; strip searches; intrusive and inappropriate touching; and the deprivation of personal belongings.

Mr Gutiérrez asserts that his ability to represent his client has been impeded by unjustifiable restrictions imposed on his communications with Mr López. He further contends that legal professional privilege has been compromised at Ramo Verde prison by the military authorities recording all his and his client’s meetings; reading, and sometimes withholding, their lawyer-client documentation without permission; photographing him without consent; and accessing and scrutinising information on his mobile phone.

http://www.ibanet.org/Article/NewDetail.aspx?ArticleUid=6127d428-ff18-4765-9767-2de1a17b7cf5

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