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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 17 of 190 information on the grounds and circumstances of the arrests and denied them access to the detainees citing “orders from above”. Dozens of detainees reported torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees by members of the national security forces and detention officers, at the time of arrest, detention, during transfer and at detention centers. While in detention they were kicked, beaten and threatened with death and sexual violence. The aim of the torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees appears to have been to punish them for their participation, or alleged participation in the protests and threaten them from voicing dissent against the GoV. Many were beaten by members of the National security forces and detention officers, who allegedly punched, kicked and hit detainees with blunt objects, such as helmets, including when detainees were being restrained on the ground at the time of detention. Others including female detainees were doused with water and then electric shocks were applied to their arms, breasts and genitals. In many instances, all the detainees, both men and women, were held in the same room and kept blindfolded for several hours where they could hear those being beaten. Many were allegedly forced to kneel or stand for long periods at detention centers. Some were forced to watch while other detainees were beaten. Many were threatened that they would be killed and buried in pieces. In one reported case, an officer allegedly poured petrol onto a young detainee while threatening him. Fifthly, this policy was implemented with the collaboration of Prosecutors in the Office of Public Prosecutions and judges under the de facto control of the President. The several Judges who publicly expressed their support for the GoV’s policy such as the President of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice have publicly expressed her support for the Executive’s revolutionary agenda both in her judicial work and public life where she has openly stated her agreement with proposals made by the President,38 allowed the national security forces to remain unaccountable for and allowed Prosecutions to conduct proceedings against detainees in spite of flagrant abuses such as: a) arbitrary arrests; b) illegal short term detention without court order; 38 DPLF et al. (2009) Situation of the Judiciary in Venezuela: Due Process of Law Foundation, International Commission of Jurists, and Venezuelan Network of Peace Activists. Document presented to the IACHR at the hearing of the same name held during its 134 Period of Sessions, March 24, 2009; also see: IACHR. (2009) Democracy and Human Rights in Venezuela. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. [Online] 30 December. Available from: [Accessed 22th August, 2015]

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