2021-10-14 00:15:33 UN urges independent probe into death of ex-Venezuelan minister | Coronavirus pandemic News
According to the Venezuelan government, Raul Baduel, Hugo Chavez’s former defense minister, died as a result of the coronavirus.
The UN human rights office has urged Venezuela to conduct a “independent investigation” into the death of jailed former minister Raul Baduel, a prominent dissident regarded as a political prisoner by the country’s opposition.
“We are deeply saddened by Raul Baduel’s death in detention,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, on Twitter on Wednesday.
“We urge #Venezuela to conduct an independent investigation, take all necessary steps to ensure detainees’ access to healthcare, consider alternative detention measures, and release all arbitrarily detained individuals.”
🇻🇪 We are deeply saddened by the death of Raul Baduel in detention. We urge #Venezuela to conduct an independent investigation, take all necessary steps to ensure detainees’ access to healthcare, consider alternative detention measures, and release all arbitrarily detained individuals.
— United Nations Human Rights Council (@UNHumanRights) October 13, 2021
After a falling out with the Socialist Party, Baduel was arrested in 2009 on corruption charges, placed under house arrest, and then re-arrested in 2017 for allegedly conspiring against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
He was Venezuela’s defense minister under ex-President Hugo Chavez, and he is a retired general. However, the pair’s relationship deteriorated after Baduel argued against a constitutional reform proposed by Chavez.
Two of Baduel’s sons have also been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy.
Raul Emilio Baduel has since been released, but Josnars Adolfo Baduel remains imprisoned, accused of taking part in the failed maritime invasion known as “Operation Gideon” in May 2020, which was aimed at deposing Maduro.
On Tuesday, the country’s attorney general announced Baduel’s death, stating that he died as a result of the coronavirus.
Tarek Saab, on the other hand, did not say whether he died in a hospital or in prison. Baduel had been imprisoned at a Sebin intelligence police station.
“We regret the death of Raul Isaias Baduel from cardiac-respiratory failure caused by COVID-19, despite the fact that he was receiving corresponding medical care and had received the first dose of the vaccine,” Saab said in a tweet.
Baduel’s family said they found out about his death on Twitter.
“I have not received a call from any government official,” his wife, Cruz Zambrano de Baduel, told the internet channel EVTV. She went on to say that she was skeptical that her husband, whom she hadn’t seen in four weeks, had COVID-19.
Human rights organizations have accused the government of being responsible for his death.
“With the death of Raul Isaias Baduel, there are now ten political prisoners who have died in custody,” Gonzalo Himiob, a lawyer with Foro Penal, a legal aid organization, said on Twitter.
“The state bears responsibility for any prisoner’s life and health.”