Document - Further information: Venezuela: More protesters detained, at risk of torture
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.
Additional InformationBetween 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 centres. 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 centres, 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 centres 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