for protesting) and denunciations of torture, illegal repression by security forces and irregular groups and attacks on the press are the fruits of over a month of political confrontation in the streets of some 30 Venezuelan cities.
The Government of Venezuela is violating the United Nations’ basic principles on the use of force and firearms [approved in Havana in 1990], with regulatory bodies like the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Ombudsman’s Office treating them with contempt.
According to eye-witnesses, press investigations and videos circulating on social networks and other websites (including online press), several protesters were shot to death by plain-clothes police, by armed groups (accused and witnessed to be working for the Government) that intimidated protesters and initiated and carried out violent incidents, or by pellets allegedly fired by members of the militarized Bolivarian National Guard. In several cities there were reports that young detainees were soaked with gasoline and threatened with being set on fire, were tortured with electric prods, or raped with weapons. There were also reports of security agents shooting at, raiding and throwing tear gas canisters into private residences, as well as destroying private property.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Ombudsman’s Office, which should act ex officio, have turned though a deaf ear, improperly issuing opinions ahead of time in favour of the Government and blaming opposition leaders, and also remaining silent when evidence was contaminated by executive branch officials.
Despite more than a month of protests, Ramirez has been fairly invisible. In fact, a few days ago, she claimed not to have any accusations of torture, despite individuals making them (56 so far have been submitted to the OHCHR), as well as those of Foro Penal Venezolano, which have been very clear and extremely specific and quantitative (Alfredo Romero tweets and updates regularly under @alfredoromero in Twitter). In fact, Ramirez claims that “bullets” have come from “somewhere else” while there are numerous videos which show cops, police and National Guard shooting real bullets at people, exactly what Ramirez says is prohibited.
Finally, on 8 March 2014, she said in a public statement that “la tortura tiene un sentido, por eso nosotros tenemos que ser muy rigurosos con el uso de los términos. La tortura se emplea para obtener información…” (Torture makes sense, that is why we have to be rigorous in the use of terms. Torture is used to obtain information…), which caused a lot of controversy and suggested that she was not impartial in the alleged cases of torture to students by the National Guards.
This is why, according to the recommendation provided by the Secretariat, we kindly submit through this petition an extraordinary request to revise and withdraw the accreditation given to Venezuela, due to the urgency of the situation, the human rights emergency in the country, and the clear violation of the Paris Principles by the Ombudsman.
You will find in this regard six complete reports submitted by the signatories of this petition, providing details on the aforementioned violations of the Paris Principles by the DPV:
- A Report and its annexes elaborated by the Human Rights Commission of the Venezuelan Political Party MUD, under the direction of Delsa Solorzano, Coordinator of said Human Rights Commission, and Deputy to the Latin American parliament
- A report elaborated by the Inter-American Bar Association, which highlights clearly the lack of independence of the Ombusdman, under the direction of Rafael Veloz, President of the Venezuelan Chapter , Inter-American Bar Association (IABA), former President of the IABA