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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 7 of 190 e) other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health pursuant to Article 7 (h) of the Rome Statute were committed. It is submitted, in light of the information presented in this report, that the situation is “not manifestly outside the jurisdiction of the Court” and that the OTP should formally commence a preliminary examination in the situation involving crimes committed against the civilians in Venezuela since February 2014. The authors understand that the process of preliminary examination as well as the standards applicable for review are spread over different phases and as such that further information may be required in due course should the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) decide to formally commence a preliminary examination. As such they undertake to provide full cooperation, as and when required, to facilitate the OTP’s access to further information available to it, in particular to facilitate access to victims and other local NGOs in the relevant areas. The request is classified as urgent in light of the upcoming elections in Venezuela scheduled for the 6 December 2015 and the threats made by President Maduro: “If the right group [the opposition parties] takes the election many very grave things would happen including street confrontations (...) I will be the first person to go to the streets to defend with the people our revolution. Our country can only be governed by revolutionaries (…). the opposition should pray and light candles to their saints so that the elections are won by us otherwise it would be total chaos. (...) I swear that under no circumstances would I surrender the achievements of our revolutions. I will not betray our people. Lets be prepared to defend our homeland and to win in any way, at any cost because our future is in play. Massacre and death will take place if the chavista revolution fails.”8 These threats coming from the President of a state party are particularly concerning considering the significant number of civilian casulaties and political prisoners already made by the GoV since February 2014. The prompt intervention of the Office of the Prosecutor is required to bring justice to the victims and to prevent further violence. 8 El Nacional. (2015) El Nacional [Online] 22 June 2015. Available from: http://www.el- [Accessed 4 November, 2015]

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