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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 5 of 190 There is reliable and corroborated open source information which confirms that at least 437 individuals arrested during the protests were victims of torture according to the UN Committee against Torture and 138 victims of cases of torture or cruel and inhuman treatment according to Foro Penal.3 At least 878 civilians were injured since February 2014 according to official sources4 of which at least 138 were wounded by gunshot, 330 by pellets, 72 people by being beaten up, 34 people were injured by blunt objects and the remaining 280 wounded suffered injuries of various kinds.5 In addition, the persecution of a significant number of civilians perceived to be fascists, including political leaders, political activists, businessmen, media owners, employees, journalists and media employees as well as human rights and NGO leaders and lawyers, who have been victims of serious and repeated threats and attempts to their lives and liberties on the basis of their political beliefs. Although the exact numbers of cases are unconfirmed due to the fear of reporting victimization and the absence of adequate judicial remedies, the number of incidents, of individuals exiled following persecution and the consistency of the reports illustrate the existing policy of the GoV. In many locations and on most occasions, the pro government armed paramilitaries, called on by the President himself and other high level officials, acted in coordination with the units of the national security forces deployed, under the protection of the army, the national and local police and the intelligence services. In addition, as will be presented in more details, as a result of the de-facto supremacy of the Presidency over the judiciary, which it controls by making loyalist appointments, threatening temporary judges of being sacked and imprisoning dissident judges, the GoV has been implementing, a policy of para-judicial persecution against all those perceived as “fascists” by subjecting them to false and malicious prosecutions. This para-judicial persecution, which has been denounced repeatedly by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, involves threatening individuals of being prosecuted, paralysing the judicial process and detaining demonstrators, individuals perceived as being fascists and members of the Government perceived as being wavering in their commitment to discredit them, legalise and legitimize the repression and thereby consolidate their claim to power by removing the dissidents from the political scene. 3 FORO PENAL VENEZOLANO. (2015) Politically motivated detentions, torture, other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and killings 4 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. (2015) Venezuela: the Faces of Impunity. Amnesty International [ONLINE] 24 March. Available from: [Accessed 19 October, 2015] 5 PROVEA. (2014) Venezuela 2014: Protestas y Derechos Humanos. Programa Venezolano de Educación- Acción en Derechos Humanos [Online] 6 July. Available from: content/uploads/Informe-final-protestas2.pdf [Accessed 19 October, 2015]

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