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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 25 of 190 Furthermore, there is no need to establish that the entire civilian population of the geographical area in question was being targeted. However, the civilian population must be the primary object of the attack in question and cannot merely be an incidental victim. The term “civilian population” refers to persons who are civilians, as opposed to members of armed forces and other legitimate combatants. It appears from the available information that National security forces and pro government armed paramilitaries deployed by the GoV in response to the protests committed widespread and systematic attacks against the civilians perceived as dissidents in pursuance of a policy of the GoV under the leadership of President Maduro to launch violent attacks against individuals perceived as being against the Maduro regime in order to retain power by all means. It is alleged that a number of attacks took place in at least the Metropolitan District of Caracas and the states of Aragua, Táchira, Carabobo, Merida and Miranda since February 2014. (i)Independent protests in early February 2014 in Táchira, San Cristóbal On 4 February 2014, a spontaneously student protest began right after the attempted rape of a female student on a university campus in the city of San Cristóbal, Táchira State. 47 This spontaneous and initially peaceful protest was repressed with disproportionate violence by the local police, and ended with a number of students and police officers wounded, and two students under arrest because they were suspected of taking pictures and filming the repression with their mobile phones. These arrested students referred to by President Maduro and the local Governor Vielma Mora as “right wing fascists”48 were severely injured by the police agents.49 During the following days, in reaction to the arrest of the two students,50 a series of protests started in several cities across the country, including San Cristóbal, Mérida and Maracaibo.51 On February 6 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 47 PRODAVINCI. (2014) 5 claves para entender las protestas estudiantiles en Venezuela. 48 CNN. (2014) Manifestantes en Táchira: ¿Estudiantes o “fascistas”?; Also see: CAMPOS, G. (2014) Maria Gabriela Varela en Conclusiones CNN; and ROJAS, L. (2014) El enfrentamiento entre Fernando del Rincón y la secretaria de Gobierno del Táchira 49 EL NACIONAL. (2014) Liberaron a estudiantes detenidos por protestas en ULA Táchira. 50 These students were conditionally released on February 5; See: OJO, R. (2014) ¿Qué ocurrió en la Universidad de Los Andes de Táchira? 51 OJO, R. (2014) ¿Qué ocurrió en la Universidad de Los Andes de Táchira?; Also see: EL NACIONAL. (2014) Liberaron a estudiantes detenidos por protestas en ULA Táchira

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