- Calling for the charges against Andrés Moreno, Marco Trejo, James Mathison and César Cuellar to be dropped;
- Demanding that all investigations in Venezuela be carried out with the appropriate guarantee of due process, through the regular justice system and not military courts;
- Urging them to protect and guarantee the right to freedom of expression in accordance with Venezuela’s international human rights obligations.
Urgent Action Update: Young Men To Be Prosecuted By Military Tribunal (Venezuela: UA 242/16)
December 2, 2016
Andrés Moreno Febres-Cordero, Marco Trejo, James Mathison and César Cuellar were granted conditional release in late November after having been arrested for producing a video for the opposition party Primero Justicia. They are worryingly being tried for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression.
Andrés Moreno Febres-Cordero, Marco Trejo, James Mathison and César Cuellar were granted conditional release at the end of November on the condition that they appear every 30 days before the military court which is hearing the allegations of their crimes committed under the Organic Code of Military Justice. Meanwhile, a decision on the case from the Supreme Court of Justice is still pending.
The four young men were arrested at the end of September for producing a video for the opposition party Primero Justicia, which was shared on 16 September via the political party’s Twitter account. Amnesty International has seen the video, which shows the daughter of a soldier sending a message to her father to let him know that there is no medicine in the house, and telling him that she is going out to get food. The father (soldier) is at a protest, getting ready to repress protestors. The young girl’s message ends with her saying “Dad, remember today that the people they are sending you to repress are going through the same as us. No one can put up with this [situation], you know that.” (papá, hoy recuerda que la gente que te mandan a reprimir están pasando lo mismo que nosotros. Esto no se aguanta, tú lo sabes).
The arrest and trial of Andrés Moreno, Marco Trejo, James Mathison and César Cuellar constitute a violation of their right to freedom of expression. Furthermore, it is alarming that this case is being brought before the military courts, that the principle of the ‘natural judge’ is not being respected and that cases such as this could continue to be repeated.
1) TAKE ACTION
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
Contact these two officials by 12 January, 2017:
Dra. Luisa Ortega Díaz
Fiscalía General de la República
Avda. México, Manduca a Pelelojo,
Edif. Sede Fiscalía General de la
República, La Candelaria
Fax: +58 212 509 8504
Salutation: Dear Attorney General / Señora Fiscal General
Minister Counselor of Political Affairs Carlos J. Ron
Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
1099 30th St. NW, Washington DC 20007
Fax: 1 202 342 6820 I Phone: 1 202 342 2214
Salutation: Señor Ministro / Dear Minister
2) LET US KNOW YOU TOOK ACTION
Here’s why it is so important to report your actions: we record the number of actions taken on each case and use that information in our advocacy. Either email firstname.lastname@example.org with “UA 242/16” in the subject line or click this link.