The Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) issued a statement today expressing concern over the continued detention of Juan Requesens, an opposition National Assembly deputy who was arrested on August 7 on vague charges that he was involved in the August 4 drone attack against Maduro.
In a statement released today, the IACHR decried the fact that Requesens was detained “without an arrest warrant”, and that he is being “held incommunicado” on nebulous charges. The IACHR also points to the “irregularities” that have marked Requesens’ detention, and reminds the Venezuelan government that as a member of the Organization of American States (OAS) it must take steps to respect a detainee’s right to dignity and the principle of the presumption of innocence.
The IACHR’s statement also addressed a pair of videos that were released of Requesens while in custody, one of which was released on purpose by the authorities and the other which appears to have leaked from the prison in which Requesens is being held.
In the first video, Requesens says that he helped opposition leader Julio Borges “move” a man into Colombia recently. Because the Maduro regime argues that both Julio Borges and the other man that Requesens named in the video were involved in the drone attack, it argued that the video amounted to an admission of guilt.
In the second video, Requesens stands in boxers before what appears to be one of his captors. His underwear appears to be heavily stained with feces.
The IACHR lamented the fact that the videos were released, given the fact that it considers Venezuela to have “an obligation to treat deputy Requesens with dignity” given that he is a prisoner. The IACHR also maintains that by presenting a video of Requesens to the media and declaring the footage to be an admission of guilt, the Maduro regime violated Requesens’ right to be presumed innocent.
Requesens’ Lawyer: I’ve Had No Contact With My Client
Joel Garcia, the lawyer defending Juan Requesens, said in a press conference today that he has not had access to his client since his detention, and that he has not been allowed to see the case file detailing the regime’s case against him.
Garcia said that the Maduro regime was clearly denying Requesens’ right to mount a defense.
Garcia also explained that Requesens must eat a special diet given a surgical procedure he underwent before his arrest, and that he was being denied those in prison.
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