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The United Nations condemns the increase in enforced disappearances in Venezuela before the elections: “It is worrying”

The United Nations condemns the increase in enforced disappearances in Venezuela before the elections: “It is worrying”

The experts United nations (United Nations) Awa Balde, Gabriela Citrone, Angkana Neelabaijit, Grazyna Baranovska and Ana Lorena Delgadillo Pérez – members of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances – have warned of “An alarming increase“The follower.” Enforced disappearance in Venezuela Before the presidential elections on July 28.

Since December 2023, there has been an alarming increase in enforced disappearances UN experts said this would affect citizens exercising their right to freedom of expression, association and participation in matters of public concern. While they confirmed that most of them were forcibly disappeared They are members of the main opposition political party and the army.

“As the country prepares for the presidential elections in July 2024, These enforced disappearances can have a deterrent effect and hinder the population's right to vote freely.“, they expressed.

They continued: “These prolonged incommunicado detentions amount to enforced disappearances. The same They seem to follow a pattern Under which people are deprived of their liberty by state authorities, transferred to recognized detention centers and deprived there of their basic rights such as communication with the outside world and access to legal assistance.

Elections are scheduled to be held in Venezuela on July 28. In the photo, a guard guards the entrance to the National Electoral Council in Caracas (Reuters/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria)

They then pointed out that depriving a person of his liberty, followed by a refusal to acknowledge his detention or concealment of his fate or whereabouts, It places them outside the protection of the law. “This constitutes enforced disappearance“Regardless of the duration of the deprivation of liberty or disappearance,” said the experts of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

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It is important to ensure that accurate information is obtained without delay “Persons deprived of their liberty must protect anyone with a legitimate interest, such as members of their families and legal representatives of their choice.” He added: “The crime of enforced disappearance involves the violation of many human rights“.

They described, among other things, the right to recognition of legal personality, the right to freedom and security, and the right not to be subjected to acts of torture.

“also The basic rights of family members are violated For the missing person. Often in these situations It is the families of missing persons who bear the burden of searching for their loved ones “In detention centres, where they are not only systematically denied information about their fate or whereabouts, but are also at risk of reprisals,” the experts said.

Demonstrators demand the release of political prisoners (EFE/Miguel Gutiérrez/File)

The state has a duty to search for and reveal the truth about missing persons. They noted that impunity for these crimes undermines confidence in the rule of law and institutions, and perpetuates a climate of fear and insecurity in society.

Finally, the experts urged the Venezuelan regime to “Prevent and eliminate all acts of enforced disappearance and prosecute their perpetrators; to what provide information on the fate and whereabouts of persons currently detained incommunicado by the state, since then It provides you with all legal guaranteesincluding the right to communicate with and receive visits from family members, to obtain legal assistance of their choice, and the right to appear before a competent court to determine the legality of their detention.

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The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances noted this In contact with the authorities In this regard, he expressed to the system Availability Providing cooperation and technical assistance, with the aim of ensuring respect for the human rights of persons deprived of their liberty and their families, and investigating any case of enforced disappearance in accordance with international law.

Henry Alviarez and Dinora Hernandez

Opposition leader Maria Corina Machado On Monday, he demanded the release of the head of the Fente Venezuela party he leads. Henry Alviarez; And political secretary, former MP Dignora HernandezWhen you finish 40 days after his arrestWhile she denounced it Neither their families nor their lawyers were able to see them.

He added: “Henry and Degnora are committed to achieving fair and free elections in Venezuela and have the right to continue to do so freely alongside us, because they have not committed any crime. Release Henry and Dinora, let's see themMachado said.

He then said that since their arrest on March 20, Hernandez and Alviarez have been detained They were not allowed visits Their relatives and none of their lawyers.

For his part, the lawyer said: Omar Mora Tosta This was denounced by Dignora Hernandez and Henry Alviarez They were only allowed one phone call. Eight days after the arrest, and that until now, it was not possible to be sworn in as their defense attorney.

“Now we know who took them and where they are, but inexplicably, even after the complaints we made to the Ombudsman and the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Dinora and Henry remained isolated from their families and lawyers, and it was impossible to be sworn in as their own lawyers.” “Reliable defenders,” the lawyer noted.

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Several Venezuelan opposition leaders on Sunday denounced the decision Arbitrary arrest of three political activists from the state of PortugalMachado carried out a huge activity last Friday before the presidential elections.

The main opposition coalition parties – the Democratic Unionist Party – reported their arrest Ambar Márquez, Victor Castillo and Oscar CastañedaMachado supporters and members of the anti-Chavista coalition's presidential campaign leadership.