Transparencia Venezuela demands the immediate release of Francisco Márquez and Gabriel San Miguel, two young men who were illegally detained by members of the Bolivarian National Guard, when they were on their way to organise a signature verification process in the state of Cojedes.
We condemn the decision of Control Court No. 2 of the state of Cojedes, which not only upheld the detention of Márquez and San Miguel, but also placed them in a high-security prison facility with common criminals.
Transparencia Venezuela repudiates this measure in breach of fundamental human rights, taken to intimidate those who participate in the signature verification process to recall President Nicolás Maduro. We also urge the Ombudsman’s Office to take immediate action and the National Electoral Council to ensure the peaceful conduct of the verification of signatures.
Transparencia Venezuela calls all human rights organizations to raise their voices and press for the release of Márquez and San Miguel, who have been arbitrarily detained for political reasons.
The detention of these young men, Francisco Márquez and Gabriel San Miguel, by the Bolivarian National Guard when they were on their way to organise a signature verification process in the state of Cojedes constitutes an unlawful deprivation of their liberty. The recent decision of Control Court No. 2 in Cojedes upheld the wrongful actions by the National Guard, and is only one of many unfair court rulings which have been subsequently validated by the Supreme Court of Justice.
The recent ruling not only violates these young men's right to freedom and citizen participation, but also the rights of the population at large. Such actions are meant to instil fear among citizens, activists and political party members.
Both Francisco Márquez and Gabriel San Miguel are part of a team in the municipality of El Hatillo working with Transparencia Venezuela on the implementation of Transparency Systems —including Accountability and Participatory Budgeting modules- to curb corruption in local governments.
We join organisations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International in condemning the unfair detention of those who promote the implementation of a constitutional and democratic mechanism to bring about a change in government, like the Recall Referendum.
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