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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 43 of 190 By 2 May 2014, 2,553 people had been detained for alleged crimes related to the protests and political dissidence.148 Several NGOs, such as Foro Penal, and victims denounced tortures and ill-treatment in different detention centres and prisons.149 According to Foro Penal, some victims were forced to sing a statement declaring that they had not been victims of any mistreatment.150 On 24 April 2014, after the student movement called for a pacific demonstration in Caracas downtown, the Constitutional Chamber of the TSJ held that the right to protest pacifically was not absolute and that an authorization was required from the local authorities before holding a peaceful protest.151 Thereby, the TSJ turned all the protestors into criminals and thus into legitimate targets of violence. This decision was heavily criticized as violating human rights standards but no judicial recourse is available to the victims. Six days later, General Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Díaz claimed that “there are no political prisoners [in Venezuela]. The prisoners are in jail because of their ideas." In addition, she stated that the GoV had been respecting human rights and the Venezuelan law. She personally mocked victims who reported instances of sexual violence during a televised press conference, holding up a photo of a rifle and asking rhetorically: “Do you think that a person who has been violated, who had a rifle inserted in his anus, could sit down to make a declaration at his hearing?”152 In April 2014, the SEBIN broke and entered into NGOs premises such as “Un Mundo 148 LA RAZON. (2014) Detenciones a menores de edad durante protestas violan derechos establecidos en la Lopna. La Razon. [Online] 2 May. Available from: derechos-establecidos-en-la-lopna/ 149 See, for instance, HRW (2014). Punished for Protesting: Rights Violations in Venezuela’s Streets, Detention Centers, and Justice System. See Foro Penal, Protesta y Derechos Humanos (May 2014). Available at: 150 Foro Penal, Protesta y Derechos Humanos (May 2014), especially pages 43-46. Available at: 151 EL IMPULSO. (2014) TSJ: “Derecho a la protesta no es absoluto.” El Impulso. [Online] 25 April. Available from: [Accessed 24 October, 2015]; EL TIEMPO. (2014) TSJ: derecho a la protesta pacífica no es absoluto. El Tiempo. [Online] 25 April. Available from: protesta-pacifica-no-es-absoluto/136347 [Accessed 23 October, 2015] 152 Luisa Ortega Diaz: In Venezuela there was neither manifestation nor peaceful protest. See: MORENO, J.T. (2014) Luisa Ortega Díaz: En Venezuela no hubo ninguna manifestación ni protesta pacífica. El Nacional. [Online] 30 May. Available from: Ortega-Diaz-Venezuela-manifestacion_0_418758411.html [Accessed 23 October, 2014]; Also see: HENDERSON, V.L. (2014) Human Rights Watch Alert: All-Star Cast Doing Dirty Work for Venezuelan Regime? Panama Post. [Online] 23 May. Available from: henderson/2014/05/23/human-rights-watch-alert-all-star-cast-doing-dirty-work-for-venezuelan- regime/ [Accessed 23 October, 2015]

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