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Press briefing note on Venezuela

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville
Location: Geneva
Date:  3 June 2015
Subjects: Venezuela detentions

We are very concerned about the conditions of detention and the deteriorating health of Daniel Ceballos, former mayor of Tachira State in Venezuela, who has been detained since March 2014 on charges related to his role in the anti-Government protests last year. Ceballos, along with three other detainees, has been on hunger strike since 22 May. We urge the authorities to ensure that all the detainees on hunger strike have access to medical attention with a doctor of their choice. Access to their families and lawyers must also be ensured.

The day after Ceballos began his hunger strike, we understand he was transferred to a general population prison outside Caracas - outside the jurisdiction in which he is being tried - without the knowledge of his family or lawyer. There are serious issues with the conditions of his detention. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found in August last year that his detention was arbitrary.

We call, once again, on the Venezuelan authorities to ensure that all those who are being detained for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are promptly and unconditionally released.

ENDS
For more information, please contact Ravina Shamdasani (+41 22 917 9169 / +41 79 201 0115/ rshamdasani@ohchr.org) or Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org)