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Venezuela must guarantee impartial justice

Venezuela must guarantee impartial justice, says UN human rights expert

GENEVA (1 March 2019) – Venezuela must take all necessary measures to guarantee judicial independence, says a UN human rights expert.

“All Venezuelan State institutions must respect, promote and guarantee the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, including judges and prosecutors, so that that they can maintain their independence in the face of undue pressure. It is essential that the Constitution and human rights treaties are respected,” says the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Diego García-Sayán.

“I am concerned that pressure is being put on the judicial system to act against the political opposition, led by the leader of the Venezuelan National Assembly Juan Guaidó, who was declared interim president by the National Assembly.”

"The measures taken against Guaidó and the pressure being exerted on him are unacceptable. I deplore the criminal investigation that is being conducted, as this could be politically motivated,” the UN expert stressed.

“Statements already made by Tarek William Saab, a leading supporter of the incumbent President Maduro, about the Guaidó investigation may already be affecting the legal presumption of innocence,” the Rapporteur said.

"The equitable, independent and impartial administration of justice requires prosecutors to work in a way that is fair and which avoids any discrimination,” he emphasised.

“Venezuela must organise its State apparatus in a way that is compatible with its international obligations to guarantee the rule of law, the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and international human rights standards.

"In accordance with the human rights treaties to which it is a party, Venezuela must adopt all legislative, administrative, judicial and other measures necessary for the establishment of an independent and impartial judiciary and the proper administration of justice,” the Special Rapporteur said.

The expert has already communicated his concerns to the Government of Venezuela.

ENDS

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