Crime & Justice

Family asks Venezuelan Attorney General to investigate alleged torture of detained student

Caracas, Sept 13 (EFE).- Human rights activists protested on Wednesday in front of the Venezuelan Attorney General’s Office to demand an investigation into the alleged torture of student John Álvarez, who was arrested on Aug. 30 and charged with conspiracy and association to commit a crime.

Alvarez’s relatives presented a written request to the Attorney General’s Office in the presence of lawyers and activists who also demanded the release of the young man and all “political prisoners” in Venezuela.

The family also requested that the National Commission Against Torture visit the detainee and that a national prosecutor be appointed to investigate the alleged torture.

In the document obtained by EFE, the family request that “a criminal investigation” be opened against the Bolivarian National Police and the officers who detained the young man.

According to the document, “the torture consisted of beating him with a bat covered with fabric and with a bed mattress, also covered with fabric, on his legs, buttocks and back. He was hit on the head with a door, and received electric shocks to his knees, ribs, and testicles.”

Alvarez’s lawyer, Joel Garcia, said that one week earlier he had submitted another petition to the Human Rights Ombudsman, Alfredo Ruiz, requesting that he investigate the allegations of torture, but that he had not yet received a response.

“To date, the Ombudsman has not sent an authorized official to see and interview John Álvarez, nor has he sent a forensic doctor to examine him. That is why today we come before the guarantor of legality, which is the Public Prosecutor’s Office,” he told the media.

Álvarez was arrested in Caracas by officers of the Directorate of Strategic and Tactical Actions, who also confiscated the motorcycle he was riding and his belongings, the lawyer told EFE.



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