URGENT ACTION: More protesters detained, at risk of Torture

By Amnesty International

Amnesty.org- May 15, 2014

On 14 May security forces in Caracas detained at least 100 people involved in ongoing anti-government demonstrations. They are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment and their right to due process is at risk.

According to reports, on 14 May, at least 100 people including some minors, were detained by Venezuelan National Guard in Chacao municipality, east of the capital Caracas, with excessive use of force. Some of them have been released after few hours, including all the minors. They were detained while taking part in a student demonstration organized to protest against the detention of 243 people between 7 and 8 May. Student demonstration was held in front of the UNDP’s office.

National Guards attacked media workers who were covering the protest. According to press reports, four photographers were beaten and three journalist assaulted, some of them present injuries by rubber pellets. The Ministry of Tourism, adjacent to the UNDP’s offices was reportedly attacked with stones and Molotov cocktails during the demonstration. A member of the National Guard was injured when he was accidently hit by one of the buses that was carrying some of the detainees into custody.

In the context of the ongoing protests in Venezuela, Amnesty International has received dozens of complaints about torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees by members of the security forces, at the time of detention, during transfer and at detention centers. The detainees’ safety and right to due process are at grave risk.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

Acknowledging that the state has a duty to act, in a lawful and proportionate manner, to maintain public order; and reminding the authorities that they must respect human rights, must not use excessive force, and must ensure that the right to freedom of expression, association and assembly are respected;

Calling on the authorities to make public the whereabouts of all detainees, and ensure they are protected from torture and other ill-treatment, are given immediate access to their lawyers, families, and any medical attention they may require;

Calling on them to either charge those detained with a recognisable offence or release them; to respect the right of all those charged with an offence to due process and urging the authorities to refrain from making statements that undermine the presumption of innocence;

Calling on them to guarantee the protection of journalists and human right defenders and ensure that they can carry out their work without fear of reprisals, given their essential role in monitoring and reporting on the protests and possible abuses.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 26 JUNE 2014 TO:

Vice-president

Sr. Jorge Arreaza

Vicepresidencia de la Republica

Av. Urdaneta, Esquina de Carmelitas, Caracas, Venezuela

Twitter: @jaarreaza

Salutation: Señor Vicepresidente/

Dear Vice-president

 

Minister of Justice and Interior

Gral. Miguel Rodríguez Torres

Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Interiores, Justicia y Paz

Av. Urdaneta, Edificio Interior y Justicia Caracas, Venezuela

Fax: +58 212 506 1685

Email: asistenciadirecta3@gmail.com

Salutation: Señor Ministro/

Dear Minister

 

And copies to:

Amnistía Internacional Venezuela

Av. la Salle, Torre Phelps, piso 17, Oficina 17A

Plaza Venezuela, Los Caobos,

Caracas 1050Venezuela

Fax: +58 212 793 1318 ext. 116

Email: info@aiven.org

 

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

 

URGENT ACTION

More protesters detained, at risk of torture

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Between 7 and 8 May security forces in the Chacao and Baruta Municipalities of Caracas, the capital, detained 243 people in four makeshift camps built as part of anti-government demonstrations that have been ongoing throughout the country since February 2014. All but 12 people have already been conditionally released, including all the minors.

Since the beginning of February 2014, Venezuela has been shaken by mass protests for and against the government in various parts of the country. The unrest has already resulted in the death of over 41 people, including at least six members of the security forces. More than 650 people have been injured and over 2,000 have been detained. Most people arrested have been conditionally released pending investigations, but they face charges that could lead to years in prison.

There are indications of excessive use of force by the security forces, as well as reports of violence by armed pro government groups and by anti-government protesters. Amnesty International has received dozens of complaints about torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees by members of the security forces, at the time of detention, during transfer and at detention centers. The aim of the cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees appears to have been to punish them for their participation, or alleged participation in the protests. Among the complaints received are cases of beatings by members of the security forces, who allegedly punched, kicked and hit detainees with blunt objects, such as helmets, including when detainees were being restrained on the ground at the time of detention.

The organization has also received complaints from detainees who were allegedly forced to kneel or stand for long periods at detention centers, subjected to sexual abuse or threatened with rape. Other reports indicate that some were threatened with death, and in one case, officer’s allegedly poured petrol onto a young detainee.

Detainees were not given medical examinations on arrival at detention centers and, in some cases, did not receive medical attention until they were brought before a judge, despite evident wounds from rubber pellets or bullets. The right of detainees to be examined by a doctor and receive medical treatment whenever necessary is a safeguard against torture and ill-treatment, and an integral part of the authorities’ duty to guarantee respect for the integrity and dignity of the individual.

Name: Another 105 people detained in Caracas

Gender m/f: both

Further information on UA: 119/14 Index: AMR 53/014/2014 Issue Date: 15 May 2014

 

Source: Amnesty International.”Urgent Action: More protesters detained, at risk of torture”. amnesty.org. Mayo 15, 2014. Amnesty International. Mayo 18, 2014.

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR53/014/2014/en/fb437830-9444-4700-9ce4-53329b94cf20/amr530142014en.html