1667505756 Maduros political openness collides with international complaints about human rights

Maduro’s political openness collides with international complaints about human rights violations

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Wednesday during a meeting with the President of Guinea-Bissau at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas.Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Wednesday during a meeting with the President of Guinea-Bissau at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas FEDERICO PARRA (AFP)

The political openness of Nicolás Maduro, who received President Gustavo Petro this week and who has shown signs of greater rapprochement with Washington, collides with international denunciations of his respect for human rights. Karim Khan, prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, has said that the postponement or deferral of investigations into Venezuela’s government over alleged violations of freedoms and crimes against humanity, demanded by officials of that country’s government, is “unjustified”. . country and has asked the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber for permission to continue the expert work.

“Following an objective and independent assessment of material information obtained from Venezuela and other credible sources, I have come to the conclusion that this postponement is not warranted and that a reopening of the investigation should be authorized,” Khan said in a .written statement.

This information comes at the same time that the government of Nicolás Maduro, after a long period of siege and questioning of its legitimacy on the international stage, is regaining ground, preparing and even contemplating the resumption of political dialogue with the opposition the possibility of reintegrating Venezuela into the Inter-American justice system, as proposed to Maduro himself by Colombian President Gustavo Petro.

A year ago, Khan and Maduro met at Miraflores Palace in Caracas in a televised broadcast to formalize a memorandum of understanding in which both parties pledged to work to improve and make justice more effective in the country. At the end of the day, Khan officially announced that his office would launch an investigation into the Chavista government’s excessive human rights abuses. The move announced by Khan, made in real time on this radio and television station, confused the members of the high government present in Miraflores

Khan said he recognizes and appreciates the Venezuelan authorities’ efforts to share information about their procedures, and in particular the fact that they have implemented some legal reforms. However, he stated that the actions taken were “inadequate” and had no relevant impact on the results.

Last Monday, October 31, a day before prosecutor Khan’s statement, representatives of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, together with members of the NGO Foro Penal Venezolano, submitted a report to the ICC prosecutor’s office, focusing on the alleged responsibility of 11 officials General’s Directorate of Military Counterintelligence, Dgcim, one of the governing bodies of Venezuela’s state security, for involvement in various acts of torture, arbitrary detention and sexual abuse.

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According to the initiative’s initiators, this report covered two years of work and included in-depth interviews with more than 50 people, including the victims and their families, lawyers, journalists and members of the Venezuelan judiciary.

“This work has been designed so that it can provide relevant information at the procedural moment that the ICC’s investigation into Venezuela is at. The idea is to move from the scenario of generality to identifying exactly who are the perpetrators of crimes against humanity. They are officials of different ranks, high, middle and low, and they have evidence that needs to be considered by the court,” said Ignacio Jovtis, senior program manager at the Clooney Foundation.

“The ICC Prosecutor’s request to continue work in Venezuela confirms the content of the three reports of the United Nations fact-finding mission,” says Jovtis. “The public prosecutor’s office states in its brief that 85 percent of the 611 cases are minor offences. The ICC is investigating 12 cases on torture issues. What the prosecutor has reiterated is that it is not enough for the Venezuelan authorities to express their willingness to investigate, what happened must be investigated. Certainly there has been little progress in investigating the cases and taking corrective action, the prosecution has said, and we share that assessment.”

Jovtis acknowledges that this process will be slow and may take years. “I think it’s important to look for alternative accountability mechanisms. These excesses are of today and the victims need justice now.”

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