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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 129 of 190 regarding whether family members had been detained and when they knew detentions had taken place, where they were being held.544 The Executive including the Presidency has used its de facto control of the General Prosecutor’s office (under the direction of General Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Díaz) and the judiciary to persecute those perceived to be fascists with arrests, detention, prosecutions and threats thereof on the basis of false malicious and abusive charges. Several NGOs, including Foro Penal have systematically denounced the manipulation of evidence in the cases against protestors by the National Police.545 Members of the police have been reported to have visited hospitals to demand the doctors to hand them the bullets that they extracted from the wounded demonstrators.546 Another reputed local NGO “Centro de Derechos Humanos de la UCAB” denounced that most of the students detained on the 12 February 2014 where detained incommunicado and were denied access to legal assistance.547 Given the overall GoV’s policy to target dissent, it is alleged that the individuals currently being prosecuted are being targeted through false, malicious and abusive charges as will be detailed below. Human Rights Centre of the Catholic University Andrés Bello thoroughly examined the judicial files of 399 people imprisoned in Caracas during the 2014 protests. It concluded that people were massively detained during the protests, without attributing specific crimes to individual persons, thus violating the right to a due process. Furthermore, most of these 399 detainees were not informed about the reasons of their detention. The judicial files do not present the reasons why most people were arrested. Despite this fact, they remained detained for 8 to 30 days on average. Eventually, 80% of the cases were dropped without any serious evidence being shown.548 544 See: HRW (2014). Punished for Protesting: Rights Violations in Venezuela’s Streets, Detention Centers, and Justice System. See also: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. (2014) Venezuela: Human Rights at Risk Amid Protests 545 PEÑALOZA, P.P. and ALONSO, F. (2014) Afirman que policía manipuló pruebas para no ser incriminada 546 NTN24. (2014) Policía venezolana acude a hospitales para pedir balas extraídas a heridos, según abogado defensor de DD.HH 547 Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (UCAB), Centro de Derechos Humanos, “Que no quede ni rastro”, especially section 2. Available at: df 548 See Universidad Católica Andrés Bello – Centro de Derechos Humanos, Hasta que se demuestre lo contrario: violaciones del debido proceso a personas enjuiciadas por manifestar (Caracas: UCAB, 2015). Available at: contrario%20FIN.pdf

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