The Venezuelan NGO Foro Penal recorded, between January 2020 and October 2021, 481 people detained in an “arbitrary” way, of which 95 were tortured, he reported this Tuesday (22 )) the organization.
The NGO, which presented a report jointly with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) entitled “Criminal Justice as a Tool of Political Repression in Venezuela “, noted that 93 cases of torture were recorded in 2021 and two in 2021.
“Among these cases, the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) led the number of complaints against, representing 22 of 95 (30,53%) of the total number of allegations of torture”, he explained.
Likewise, he indicated that the majority of cases of torture occur when detention takes place in the context of of protests (30 cases), following gone from “conspiracy” (23 cases) and military rebellion (95 cases).
“Most of the people who alleged torture were missing at the time of their arrest (46,32%). In addition, 39% of people who alleged torture received public defense,” he added. More than half of them (57,89%) were taken to a judge after the first 48 hours of imprisonment.
“Of the 410 persons detained who alleged torture, five were released without being brought to court, 91 persons were formally prosecuted, of which 42 ) were assisted by private defense”, he said.
Until April of this year, informed the NGO Foro Penal, 30 of these people are still being held, 39 were released with alternative measures and one person was released in February with full acquittal. Of the detainees, 91, 5% were adults and 8.5% adolescents, 410 were men and 71 women.
For the NGO, these cases reflect a “specific State policy: the systematic practice of forced disappearances, torture and other human rights violations carried out by agents of the State to criminalize, repress and terrorize any person perceived as a critical voice or political dissident”.
“Usually people are arbitrarily detained and their whereabouts are denied by the security bodies that carry out the detention, even when lawyers and relatives are present in places of detention”, he added.
The NGO Foro Penal called for the release of all politically motivated detainees and arbitrarily detained.