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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 148 of 190 On 13 October 2015, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions issued an opinion in favor of the Mayor Antonio Ledezma.648 In this decision, the Working Group concluded that the detention of Mayor Antonio Ledezma is arbitrary and that the mayor must be released immediately and should receive a just, comprehensive, and adequate compensation. It also concluded that there is a systematic pattern of arbitrary detentions in Venezuela that should be stopped and the GoV should take all the necessary measures to guarantee the right of all Venezuelans and those living within its jurisdiction not to be arbitrarily deprived of freedom. It is further submitted, should the OTP conclude that the crimes above do not meet the required threshold for constituting the crime against humanity of imprisonment, it is alleged in the alternative the incidents presented above amount to the crime against humanity of persecution. 3.Torture as a crime against humanity The elements to establish torture are: “(i) the infliction, by act or omission, of severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental; (ii) the act or omission must be intentional; (iii) the act or omission must aim at obtaining information or a confession or at punishing, intimidating or coercing the victim or a third person, or at discriminating on any ground against the victim or a third person.”649 Members of the National Guard under the direction of General Antonio José Benavides Torres; the SEBIN under the direction of Manuel Gregorio Bernal Martínez from January 24 to February 17, and Gustavo Enrique González López from then on, Carlos Calderón, chief of investigations of SEBIN, and the Army –mainly through its control of the Military Prison of Ramo Verde- under the direction of Gerardo Izquierdo Torres and the Director of the Military Prison of Ramo Verde, Colonel Viloria, have inflicted acts of torture on detainees. The UN Committee against Torture expressed concern about reports that 437 attacks by pro-government armed groups of demonstrators were gathered during the protests650 1362212.html [Accessed 26 October, 2015] 648 RUNRUN. (2015) Consignan ante la OEA documento en el que piden liberación de Antonio Ledezma. Runrun. [Online] 19 October 2015. Available from: 2/230698/consignan-ante-la-oea-documento-en-el-que-piden-liberacion-de-antonio-ledezma.html 649 ICTY Prosecutor v Kunarac et al, Judgment February 22, 2001 The Trial Chamber para 497 650 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. (2015) Venezuela: Balance de derechos humanos tras un año de las protestas

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