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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 70 of 190 demanded that she be imprisoned for thirty years in a jail that also housed violent offenders whom had herself sentenced. He referred to her as an “outlaw”.272 The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared that she was arbitrarily detained, and the IACHR requested that she be tried or released. She is currently on trial.273 These incidents have lead to a climate where the current members of the judiciary are either loyalists or act in fear of repression from the Presidency. The division of powers between the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary has been inexistent since the Chávez Presidency to the point where judges in Venezuela publicly express their admiration for the President. In 2006, for instance, some judges of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice chanted the slogan of Chávez's Bolivarian revolution.274 Similarly, the President of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice has publicly expressed her support for the Executive’s revolutionary agenda and, in her judicial work, she has noted her agreement with proposals made by the President.275 The pervasive control of the Presidency over the Venezuelan Courts has been denounced by the United Nations Human Rights Committee since 2001 when it expressed its concern that the judges could be removed for merely fulfilling their judicial duties. 276 The IACHR as early as 2002 denounced the GoV for controlling the Judiciary.277 According to a former member of the judiciary, Chávez has even been also see: BBC. (2013) Venezuela Ends House Arrest of Judge Maria Afiuni, BBC [Online] 14 June. Available from: [Accessed 25 August, 2015] 272 Hugo Chávez, characterized Judge Afiuni as an “outlaw” and stated: I call for toughness against this judge, I even told the president of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice [of Justice, Luisa Estela Morales], and I tell the National Assembly: a law must be passed because a judge who frees an outlaw is much worse than the outlaw himself. It is infinitely more serious for a Republic, for a country, that an assassin, because he pays, is freed by a judge. It is more serious than an assassination; therefore, we must apply the maximum penalty against this judge and against others who do this. I call for thirty years in prison in the name of the dignity of the country. Audio recording of this speech available in Spanish at: Prensa Web of the National Radio of Venezuela. Bolivarian Government of Venezuela. Ministry of Popular Power for Communication and Information. Office of the General Prosecutor. “Pido 30 años de prisión para la Jueza Afiuni” (“I call for 30 years in prison for Judge Afiuni”). See: APORREA. (2009) Presidente Chávez: “Pido 30 años de prisón para la jueza Afiuni.” . [Online] 12 November. Available from: [Accessed 12 September, 2015]; also see: IACHR. (2009) Democracy and Human Rights in Venezuela. para. 298 273 BBC. (2013) Venezuela Ends House Arrest of Judge Maria Afiuni 274 NPR. (2010) Venezuela's Chávez Tightens Grip On Judiciary 275 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. 276 CCPR COMMITTEE. (2001) Concluding observations by the Human Rights Committee: Venezuela. Human Rights Committee (CCPR). [Online] 26 April. Available from:–-venezuela-2001/ [Accessed 27 August, 2015] 277 IACHR. (2003) Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Venezuela. Inter American Commission on Human Rights. [Online] 29 December. Available from:

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