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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 128 of 190 and 7, the protests in San Cristóbal resulted in a crackdown by the GoV and at least five student were imprisoned: the Manrique brothers (Reinaldo and Leonardo), Gerad Rosales and Jesús Gómez, charged with participating in violent acts, including burning down the residence of the Táchira State Governor.540 The arrests of at least some of these students considered to be arbitrary and thus immediately criticised by several Venezuelan NGOs, including Fundeci, Fundepro, Foro Penal Venezolano and Una Ventana a La Libertad. These NGOs emphasized that these arrests had no legal basis. For instance, several complains aroused because when the incidents for which he was arrested took place, Reinaldo Manrique was at a meeting with the Governor’s wife negotiating the ending of the protests.541 These five students were kept incommunicado and sent to a prison in another city.542 They have now been conditionally released, but one of them spent 33 days in prison.543 Throughout the 2014 and 2015 protests, many of the demonstrators were arrested by the police force (with or without charge), detained (with or without charge) and released or even abducted for a few days by pro-government armed paramilitaries. Moreover, many of them were subject to prosecution or threats of prosecution on the basis of false, malicious and abusive charges pursuant to President Maduro’s personal commitment to put all the so-called fascists in jail. This clearly demonstrates the existence of a policy at the highest-level of the Executive to detain everyone identified as fascist irrespective of whether they have in fact committed any crime. Several civilians, political protestors, civil society members and journalists have been arrested, detained incommunicado for up to 48 hours, and subsequently imprisoned pursuant to such false, abusive and malicious charges. Most of them were refused basic rights to due process. They were not granted access to counsel despite their requests, they were not allowed to communicate with their families during the incommunicado detention of 48 hours, relatives of detainees were routinely denied access to information 540 ARRÁIZ, L.E. (2014) Ascienden a cinco el número de estudiantes detenidos en Táchira; CNN. (2014) Denuncian detenciones arbitrarias de estudiantes en Venezuela 541 PROVEA. (2014) Venezuela 2014: Protestas y Derechos Humanos. pp.14-15 542 PROVEA. (2014) Venezuela 2014: Protestas y Derechos Humanos. pp.14-15 543 EL NACIONAL. (2014) Hermanos Manrique se encontraron con sus padres; DELGADO, E. (2014) Rodriguez Torres confirma liberación de líder de JAVU; DELGADO, E. (2014) Universitarios del Táchira rechazaron declaraciones de ministro Rodríguez Torres

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