Prado Sifontes, lawyer and Director of the
Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones – OVP (Venezuelan Prisons
Observatory), is experiencing ongoing harassment and intimidation with
recent visits by unknown individuals to his home residence.
OVP documents cases of violations against, and promotes the rights of,
persons in detention in Venezuela. In 2009 Dr Humberto Prado Sifontes was
the winner of the Canadian Embassy in Venezuela's first human rights
award, and in 2004 he was elected an Ashoka Fellow.
27 May 2010, at approximately 07:30, Dr Humberto Prado Sifontes was
approached by the Concierge of his residence building, as he was
accompanying his young son to school, and informed that a few minutes
previously seven men on motorcycles had arrived at the building and one
of them had come forward and asked whether the 'Director of Prisons'
lived in the building. The Concierge informed the men that she is not the
regular concierge for the building but that no director of prisons lived
there. The man then asked for confirmation that it was indeed the 'Real'
building before making a phone call. As he made the phone call the other
six men on motorcycles approached the building from where they had been
stationed. The individuals did not identify themselves and all were
dressed in black jackets, black gloves, black helmets and dark lenses.
should be noted that the Director of Prisons does not live in the
building, however Dr Humberto Prado Sifontes is the Director of the
Prisons Observatory and the name of his building is 'Real'. The incident
took place one week after the human rights defender accompanied a
peaceful demonstration before the Supreme Tribunal in which families of
people deprived of liberty called for an end to serious delays in
judicial procedures and the violent situations faced by inmates in
28 May 2010 the human rights defender reported the incident to the Public
Defender's Office requesting a formal investigation into this matter. Dr
Humberto Prado Sifontes has been facing threats, harassment and
intimidation since 2006 as a result of his work. On 24 November 2009 he
was granted precautionary security measures by the Inter-American Court
on Human Rights.
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Dear Madame Minister,.
As european lawyers
interested in supporting the work ...
HE President Hugo Chavez
Final Avenida Urdaneta,
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