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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 164 of 190 Several months later he had to be readmitted to hospital for emergency treatment to drain his lung.719 iv) John Michael Ortiz Fernández On 21 April 2014, 16-year-old John Michael Ortiz Fernández was hit in the left eye by a rubber bullet, when he went out onto the balcony of his home in San Cristóbal (Táchira State). The bullet burned the retina and doctors have stated that he will not retain more than 30% of his sight in his left eye. Ortiz Fernández told Amnesty International that on that day protests broke out in the area where he lives. A member of the National Police reportedly fired tear-gas grenades and rubber pullets to break up the protest. John Michael went out onto the balcony when he heard shots. He described the circumstances in which the shot was fired: “I went out and as soon as the police officer saw me on the balcony, he raised his gun and fired immediately”. According to his family, despite the seriousness of the injuries, when they arrived at the medical centre, staff initially refused to treat him until representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office arrived. John Michael and his family lodged a formal complaint with the General Prosecutor’s Office. However, at the time of writing they had not been informed of any significant progress in the case and no one had been charged in connection with the incident.720 Further, should the OTP conclude that the crimes above do not meet the required threshold for constituting the crime against humanity of other inhuman acts, it is alleged in the alternative the incidents presented above amount to the crime against humanity of persecution. 5.Persecution as crime against humanity Persecution is a crime which requires an act intended to cause and result in an infringement on an individuals enjoyment other basic fundamental right. 721 The Appeals Chamber at the ICTY held that “the acts underlying the crime of persecution, whether considered in isolation or in conjunction with other acts, must constitute a crime of persecution of gravity equal to the [other] crimes. (…)”722 The ICTY jurisprudence also indicates that the crime of persecution must be committed on discriminatory grounds, specifically race religion or politics.723 719 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. (2015) Venezuela: the Faces of Impunity. p.24 720 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. (2015) Venezuela: the Faces of Impunity. p.25 721 KHAN, K.A.A., DIXON, R. and FULFORD, A. (2009) Archbold: International Criminal Courts Practice, Procedure and Evidence. Sweet & Maxwell. 722 ICC. Prosecutor v Krnojelac. Appeal Judgment. 17 September, 2003. para […] 723 ICC. Prosecutor v Tadic. Judgment Appeal Chamber. 15 July, 1999. para 281-305

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