Panama Ambassador urges OAS to gain a sense of Judge Afiuni's case
Panamanian Ambassador to the Organization of American States referred to Afiuni's accounts of sexual abuse during her detention in a Venezuelan prison. Her experience is told in a book recently written by Francisco Olivares, the head of the section of Investigative Journalism of daily newspaper El Universal
During the OAS's session, the Panamanian ambassador urged the members of the organization to get familiar with the situation that Afiuni is going through. "The time is now," Cochez said.
During his intervention, the ambassador explained he does not intend "to determine the truth about the facts surrounding Afiuni's imprisonment. However, in view of the statements expressed in UN reports, as well as those from organizations from civil society, and a wide sector of Venezuela, our duty is to call for information on the case."
Meanwhile, Afiuni's trial began on Wednesday. International observer Claudio Morer Jiménez and some representatives from Canada and the EU were present. Afiuni refused to appear in court, yet a recent amendment to the Organic Code on Criminal Procedure allows trial hearings in the absence of the defendant.
As late as Tuesday, February 25, there was some visible response from Gabriela Ramírez's office. Representatives of the Office of the Ombudswoman would visit independent human rights watch groups to find what happened in connection with repression of protests. That day, they visited NGO Provea. The next day, they met with the attorneys of NGO Venezuelan Criminal Forum. They pursued specific data because -they argued- no claims of human rights violations of demonstrators had been filed with the Office of the Ombudswoman.