NewsNicolas Maduro's attempt to stop trials for crimes against humanity at the...

    Nicolas Maduro’s attempt to stop trials for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court failed

    In a hard setback for the president Nicolas Madurothe Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court ordered that the investigation into Venezuela is resumed for committing crimes against humanity.

    Venezuela is the first country in the American continent that has an open investigation in the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. The process was paralyzed by the request made by the Maduro regime to suspend the investigation, arguing that in his country there are already ongoing investigations by the Chavista Justice.

    However, The Hague prosecutor, Karim Khan, had been forceful in a 22-page document presented on March 30 before the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber, in which he dismantled each of the arguments put forward by the regime of Maduro to try to stop the investigation.

    It had indicated that “all the national investigations and procedures presented by the Government of Venezuela do not sufficiently reflect the investigation foreseen by the Court because there has not been any investigation of crimes against humanity.”

    “The investigations focus exclusively on low-ranking officers and the crimes were framed in terms of ‘isolated cases’ without any investigation into patterns,” he argued.

    It is that the International Criminal Court goes beyond the material authors of the crimes. Their goal is to investigate and punish the chain of commandthe high officials of the regime who ordered and allowed these serious human rights violations to be perpetrated.

    Last April, the ICC published the report of the Section for Victim Participation and Reparations that compiled the opinions and concerns of the Venezuelan victims in support of prosecutor Khan’s request to continue the investigation.

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    In total, there were 1,746 forms, 5 videos, and 124 emails or other written documents corresponding to proximately 8,900 victims, 630 families, and 2 organizations.

    In the opinions collected, the victims supported the request of the ICC Prosecutor’s Office to resume the investigation and assured that the Chavista regime is not willing to genuinely investigate and prosecute crimes against humanity committed in Venezuela by state authorities, military forces of security and the “collectives”.

    Opposition activists from Venezuela, during a demonstration in the framework of a visit by the ICC prosecutor to Caracas. Photo: AFP

    After carefully examining and evaluating all the observations received, both from The Hague prosecutor, Karim Khan, and from the Venezuelan regime and the victims; the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber finally decided to resume the investigations.

    The judges concluded that “Venezuela is not investigating (and expresses no intention to investigate) the factual allegations underlying the contextual elements of crimes against humanity; and, related to this, the fact that the focus of internal investigations seems to be generally on direct/low-level perpetrators.”

    In addition, they determined that “Venezuela pears to have taken limited investigative measures; it pears to have periods of unexplained investigative inactivity; and the internal investigations do not seem to sufficiently reflect the forms of crime that the Prosecutor’s Office intends to investigate, highlighting in particular the discriminatory intent underlying the alleged crimes and the insufficient investigation of crimes of a sexual nature.”

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    The case dates back to 2018, when the ICC Prosecutor’s Office began an investigation for the alleged commission of crimes against humanity, since at least April 2017, during the demonstrations and mistreatment of opponents in some prisons.

    The international tribunal released an annual report in December 2020 listing crimes committed by security forcesincluding torture, re and other forms of sexual violence, politically motivated persecution and imprisonment in violation of fundamental norms of international law.

    Among the security forces he accused of committing these crimes were the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin), the Bolivarian National Police (PNB), the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM), the Special Actions Force (FAES) and the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB, militarized police).

    The lidary prosecutor’s document

    Prosecutor Khan had been blunt in saying in the document presented that there is a reasonable basis to believe that “a systematic attack against the civilian population was committed in Venezuela in accordance with a State policy, and the policy of attacking this part of the population was, at a minimum, encouraged or proved by the Government of Venezuela and carried out primarily by members of specific state security forces with the possible assistance of pro-government groups or individuals”.

    It’s all about the case “Venezuela II” opened by the former ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, from the Gambia, thanks to the complaint filed by Canada, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Argentina in 2018, during the administration of then-President Mauricio Macri.

    The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan.  Photo: AFP

    The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan. Photo: AFP

    In 2021, the Government of Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Kirchner decided to get out of this collective complaint, considering that “the problem of human rights in Venezuela was dispearing.”

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    In his document, the Criminal Court prosecutor maintained that “at least from April 2017 onwards, thousands of perceived or real opponents of the Government of Venezuela were allegedly persecuted for political reasons, arrested and detained without adequate legal basis; hundreds were allegedly tortured; and more than 100 were allegedly subjected to forms of sexual violence, including re.”

    It described that “victims were subjected to acts of violence including beatings, suffocation, near-drowning, and electric shocks that resulted in serious damage to their mental and physical well-being.”

    In addition, it noted that the ICC Prosecutor’s Office “concluded that the possible cases identified are serious enough to justify the adoption of new measures by the Court, in light of quantitative and qualitative considerations, including the scale, the nature, manner of commission and repercussions of the crimes”.

    Khan’s document was made public the same day that the report by “Lupa por la Vida” was released, a coalition of prestigious organizations defending human rights in Venezuela, which documented at least 824 extrajudicial executions in the country during the year 2022, committed by the military and police of the Maduro regime.

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    Source: Clarin

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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