The Presidential Commissioner for Human Rights and Attention to Victims, Humberto Prado, recalled that today marks a month since the arbitrary detention of the political leader and Deputy of the Legitimate National Assembly, Freddy Guevarra.
Before this outrage, the parliamentarian for ‘Voluntad Popular’ remained from 2017 for 3 years as a ‘guest’ at the residence of the Chilean Ambassador, located in the city of Caracas, due to direct threats from Maduro’s regime against his personal safety.
On September 9th, 2020, he was able to leave the Ambassador’s residence. However, the persecution against the deputy continued, ending on July 12th, 2021 in an arbitrary detention by regime officials attached to the Bolivarian National National Intelligence Service (SEBIN), alleging unfounded accusations about a supposed “link with extremist and paramilitary groups associated with the Colombian government.”
After 58 hours of momentary forced disappearance, on July 14th, 2021 close to midnight he was transferred to the Fourth (4th) Court of First Instance in Control Functions with competence in crimes associated with terrorism of the Criminal Judicial Circuit of the District of the Metropolitan Area of Caracas, denying him the right to a private defense, and holding the presentation hearing in the late hours of the night until dawn, indicting him on unjustified charges such as: treason, financing terrorism and criminal association.
Despite the time elapsed, Nicolás Maduro’s regime has persisted in the continuous human rights violations, made evident in the widespread and systematic pattern against opposition political groups. During the 31 days of arbitrary detention of Deputy Fredy Guevara, he has been denied the right and access to private defense, in addition to the above, he has presented health problems caused by a pre-existing medical condition, cardiac arrhythmia, worsened by the sequelae of a Covid-19 infection. His delicate health condition has not been considered by the de facto regime, which has not allowed or provided specialized medical care.
“This kidnapping by regime shows once again the policies and actions adopted contrary to the democratic values and the human rights of the deputy. This situation has even been reflected in international reports, defining it as part of crimes against humanity,” added Prado.
Article 7 of the Rome Statute has been repeatedly infringed by the actions unleashed by the de facto regime. The Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela even established, in resolution 42/25 of the Human Rights Council of the Organization of the United Nations on September 16th, 2019, that there were:
“(…) Reasonable grounds to believe that most of the violations and crimes documented in this report were committed in the context of a widespread and systematic attack directed against the civilian population, with full knowledge of the attack, in accordance with state policy or in support of it. In relation to these crimes, the Mission has reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity were committed in Venezuela during the period under review.”
Commissioner Prado rejected the systematic pattern established in Venezuela, in addition, he held the regime responsible for the life and personal integrity of Deputy Freddy Guevara and each of the country’s political prisoners.
Furthermore, the Human Rights Commission urged the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner and the Inter-American Commission on Rights, as well as their different rapporteurs, for the immediate and unrestricted release of Deputy Freddy Guevara, compliance with judicial guarantees and protections, and health care for the deputy.