The political harassment of opposition and dissident representatives in Venezuela

Venezuela is currently the only country in the Western Hemisphere that have parlamentarians in prison for political reasons. Picture: UPI/Shutterstock/sakhorn

Article originally written by the Venezuelan non profit organization Acceso a la Justicia.

Since December 28th of 2015 (few days after the electoral victory of the opposition in the parliamentary elections of December 6th) until the past May 20th of 2020, in Venezuela we have a count of 95 documented agressions against the members of the parliament (National Assembly).

This number include the recent arbitrary detention of the representative Renzo Prieto, in a police arrest operation which included other two congressmen, Zandra Castillo and Angel Torres, (released few hours after). Including this incident the aggressions includes opposition parliamentarians, opposition dissidents and even chavismo dissidents, who have suffered some type of political persecution during all these years.

According to our last updated report we have:

  • 66 cases of agressions made by paramilitary groups or public security forces.
  • 29 cases of sentences issued by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ in Spanish acronym) wich represent an illegal removal of their parliamentary immunities.
  • 15 cases of restrictions to their right of identity and mobility
  • 6 cases suspensions issued by the Supreme Court of Justice (Amazonas State representatives)
  • 5 cases of disqualifications without a fair trial by the Comptroller General
  • 4 congressmen arbitrarily detained, and another 3 recently released with alternative restrictions.
  • 29 representative had to go into exile.

Non profit organizations such like Acceso a la Justicia, Centro de Justicia y Paz (Cepaz) and Defiende Venezuela are following up this unprecedent situation and had make a graph with individual details of all this cases of political harassment toward the Legislative Branch in Venezuela.

You can get access to the complete list of cases here (only available in Spanish).


Translation: Xavier Rodríguez Franco