AMERICA/VENEZUELA – “Justice and Peace” demands respect for the work of human rights defenders

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Caracas – The “Justice and Peace” Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of Venezuela denounced in a declaration, signed by its President, His Exc. Mgr. Roberto Lückert Leon, the arbitrary detention of three human rights defenders: Javier Tarazona, José Rafael Tarazona and Omar De Dios García. Since July they have been detained, as is known to the public, in one of the offices of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service . “They were taken while working for the denunciation and promotion of human rights as activists on issues of particular sensitivity”, is what is written in the statement sent to Fides, which continues: “The arrest took place in the headquarters of the Public Ministry, when Javier Tarazona was denouncing acts of shadowing and intimidation by the same state security body that carried out these arrests”.
The Bishop expresses concern over the detention of the three activists as carried out without a judicial order and which took place while they were in the institution that guarantees respect for their human rights. They were also arrested by officials from the same state security corps they were denouncing.
According to reports received from relatives, the activists are said to be “in inadequate conditions of detention”, they were infected by Covid-19 and transferred to a health facility that relatives do not know exactly, and finally information on their state of health was also denied. For these reasons, the Commission “demands respect for the work of human rights defenders in the national territory; demands reliable and timely information on the health conditions and legal position of human rights defenders deprived of their liberty; urges to consider the provision of a humanitarian measure for health reasons”.