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Report Highlights Torture, Detention Of Military, Families

Source: Human Rights Watch

January 10 2019


Venezuelan military personnel say they and their families are increasingly targeted by the country's intelligence services, according to a new Human Rights Watch report. 

The report released on Wednesday examines the cases of 32 people accused of plotting against the government. 

Some were accused of collaborating with Oscar Perez, a rogue police officer who in June 2017 commandeered a helicopter in an attempt to start a mutiny. 

Others were suspected of opposing the government or plotting coups. 

The arrests were usually carried out by the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) or the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN). 

In several cases, family members of suspects were arrested and tortured. 

Lawyers representing the accused said the charges were made up and not supported by real evidence.

Since 2014, Human Rights Watch has documented at least 380 cases of to mistreatment of alleged government opponents, including at least 31 cases of torture. 

In the same time period, more than 12,800 Venezuelans have been arrested for participating in or being present at protests, according to local non-governmental organization Foro Penal (Criminal Forum). 

The International Criminal Court in The Hague is currently reviewing reports of abuse and considering a full investigation of crimes committed by the Venezuelan government since 2014. 

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