Spokeswoman for democracy threatened

By Adeena Schlussel on behalf of Daniel Lubetzky

This is a scary article about threats to a pro-human rights activist from Venezuela…

Democracy Alert: World Movement Participant Threatened in Venezuela

Rocio San Miguel, spokeswoman for the Civil Association of Citizen Control in Venezuela, who recently attended the Sixth Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy, in Jakarta, Indonesia, has since been the victim of harassment and intimidation.

In addition, San Miguel spoke before the Attorney General’s office, the Public Defenders Office and the National Assembly to denounce threats made against her.  She asserted that she has received threatening telephone calls; she has been followed; and that the State-run TV channel has featured people speaking fiercely against her.  San Miguel specifically requested that the Attorney General and Public Defenders office prevent the State-run TV from continuing to allow people to defame her on the channel.  The threats began after May 6th, when she initially publicly alleged that high-level military officials are registered and active in the PSUV.  Given the harsh treatment she has experienced in recent weeks, San Miguel also requested that the Public Prosecutor arrange a hearing with Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz to expose the general lack of protection for the country’s human rights defenders and to seek protection for them.

In response to the initial allegations regarding military official involvement in the PSUV, the PSUV denied the accusations and assured the public that military officials are not active members in the party.   According to the PSUV director, Carlos Escarra, the Constitution provides military officials with the right to vote, but they cannot have membership in a political party.  This was supported by Governor Willian Lara who called the accusation a lie and anticipated that it will be repeated throughout the campaign period leading up to the September 26 legislative elections.

San Miguel asserts that what she reported is true.  The information she downloaded from an online database posted by the National Electoral Council (CNE) is already public information.  San Miguel, a lawyer, said that she hopes the appeals made to the Public Defender’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office and the National Assembly, in addition to the Public Prosecutor, produce results to avoid what would otherwise constitute a shameful democratic shortfall.

For more information including Rocio San Miguel’s complaints filed with  the Public Defender and Attorney General’s offices, go to: www.redlatinoamerica.org  (Spanish)

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