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Wednesday, 2 December, 2020

Prisoners stage a protest for Coronavirus contagion risk

Venezuelan prisoners threaten the Nicolas Maduro regime with peaceful protest if the regime doesn’t improve conditions in jails given the Coronavirus outbreak. The deadline set for today.

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Venezuelan prisoners threaten the Nicolas Maduro regime with peaceful protest if the regime doesn’t improve conditions in jails given the Coronavirus outbreak. The deadline set for today.

Prisoners in police cells announcing a peaceful general strike if the Nicolas Maduro regime does not provide them with protection measures since they are the most vulnerable during the Coronavirus outbreak in Venezuela.

The protest began Thursday morning in a police center in Eastern Caracas. That same makeshift jail has been the scene of several bloody riots and breakouts over the years. Prisoners promised the protest will nationwide.

Prisoners statements

A few days ago, prisoners sent Whatsapp recording, hand-written notes, and also told visitors about their intentions. The deadline: Thursday night.

In one of the recordings, a detained said: “Venezuela, we, the prisoners of all the country, spoke President Nicolas Maduro, Maikel Moreno -Supreme Court chief justice- Tareck William Saab, Nestor Reverol, and not received a response. The lives of thousands of prisoners are at risk. If we do not receive an answer by Thursday, we will begin a peaceful protest”.

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Another audio file came from the National Guard detention center. One of the prisoners indicated that they agree with the call.

“There are many prisoners in dungeons with procedural delays; others, are on trial and are not being taken care of, prisoners must pay guards if they want to go to court. Many criticize us for what we are, for what we did, but we are also human beings, and despite what we did, we are not bad people,” said an unknown prisoner.

The prisoners in Nueva Esparta state also declares. They talk about their problem with the Supreme Court of Justice, as they assured that judges, repeatedly, suspend hearings and ask for money to release them.

Prisons conditions

In a report published by El Pitazo, the Venezuelan Prisons Observatory, and an NGO A Window to Freedom, it denounced that the Ministry of Prison Services only adopted the suspension of visits, and has not applied a protocol to deal with the pandemic.

“In most of the country’s prisons, there is no water. They have to take cisterns to supply them, and according to family members, this is not happening. So if there is no water, how do the inmates wash their hands? This is evidence of how the prison population is so vulnerable to being infected by the virus,” said OVP director Beatriz Giron.

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