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NGOs warn that jailing adolescents is a cruel act

February 1, 2019 01:15

The teenager's face was the most striking in the photo. The boys who regained their freedom yesterday put with their parents and their lawyers on leaving the court. Non-governmental organizations defending human rights, however, do not hesitate to say that this should never have happened.

On Wednesday night, the governing judge, Darcy Lorena Sánchez, assured that parents had the obligation to reflect, since protests are adult. He also said that none of the detainees were under 14 years old. Yesterday they were released in public acts 19 minors in Yaracuy and 9 in Portuguesa. The last number of detained children was offered by Alfredo Romero, of the Criminal Forum, which said on Twitter that there were still 51 detainees until Wednesday at 8:00 a.m.

In addition to the Criminal Forum, which has been responsible for the defense of adolescents, the Community Learning Center has monitored the detention of minors, from Wednesday, 23 January. Carlos Trapani, representative of this organization, pointed out that in addition to the fact of depriving them of freedom there are several irregularities that must be reported. The first is the lack of official information. If there were no NGOs, the parents would not have had information about their children's whereabouts. "There was no communication from the Public Ministry, of the Ombudsman's office about how many adolescents were detained, where or what crimes were charged."

The other point that says Trapani is that the result of these judicial processes has varied. In previous years, they applied a presentation system, but now they are demanding personal guarantees that means that two or three adults must sign as responsible for the minor. "We have seen that now they are stopping more boys from the popular areas, where sometimes that is difficult."

He also denounces the fact that he accused of terrorism and association to commit crimes. "These teenagers did not have to be deprived of their freedom if they were exercising their right to protest." It clarifies that they are still under age, they must have the freedom to express what they think.

Trapani coincides with Ana Leonor Acosta, of the Coalition of Human Rights, in which, in addition to the lack of communication to which adolescents were subjected, neither was allowed technical assistance. The expert says they did not have a juvenile prosecutor or a juvenile advocate. "According to what is mandated by the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, the last option, in the case of minors, is the imprisonment, and that is when It has committed a crime and a trial has taken place. Here nothing happened, then this is violating international law. "

Acosta says that from what they could pick up from parents and relatives, many of these guys were not even in the protests, but some of them went out of school or passed through the area. "It is incredible that a juvenile judge allows them to be taken prisoner, knowing the ill-treatment of the security forces that would mix them with common criminals. Judges who are willing to stop children is a crime."

Expert in human rights says that Lopna clearly states that teens have the right to freely develop their thoughts and say theirs. "This is a cruel and vil act of government going now against children," he emphasized.

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