Colombia Violates American Convention in Expelling Activists

Washington

In response to the Colombian government’s expulsion of two Venezuelan youth activists, Freedom House issued the following statement:
 
“The Colombian government’s decision to hand over two activists to the Venezuelan authorities, despite the clear threat posed to their safety, marks a blatant violation of Colombia’s commitments under Article 22.8 of the American Convention on Human Rights,” said David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House. “Colombia had an obligation to protect them from the politically motivated persecution that likely awaits them in Venezuela, where the Maduro administration has repeatedly shown its disregard for due process for its critics.”

According to Colombian officials, Lorent Saleh and Gabriel Valles were expelled for participating in activities that undermine public order. The Venezuelan government announced that it would charge them with violating a settlement reached in 2010 after being detained for participating in protests in Carabobo state. If convicted, they could face up to five years in prison.

Venezuela is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2014, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2014, and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2013.

To learn more about Venezuela, visit:
 

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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhousedc). Stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our newsletter and our blog.