Venezuelan political prisoner and former Chávez collaborator dies of COVID-19 – MercoPress
Venezuelan political prisoner and former Chávez collaborator dies of COVID-19
Venezuelan General Raúl Baduel, a former ally of President Hugo Chávez who later became one of the country’s most notorious political prisoners, died Tuesday of COVID-19 at the age of 66 and while he was still incarcerated.
?? We regret the death of Raúl Isaías Baduel from a cardiopulmonary arrest caused by Covid-19, ?? Prosecutor Tarek William Saab wrote on Twitter about the former defense minister. Has Baduel died ?? while receiving the appropriate medical care ?? and after receiving the first dose of vaccine, ?? Saab added.
Baduel helped restore Chávez after the April 2002 coup that briefly removed him from power but later became his opponent. He was sentenced to eight years in prison for corruption and after being released in 2015 he was again jailed for conspiring against current President Nicolás Maduro, who fired him from the armed forces and demoted him.
?? With the death of Raúl Isaías Baduel, there are now 10 political prisoners who died in custody, ?? said lawyer Gonzalo Himiob, vice-president of the NGO Foro Penal.
The responsibility for the life and health of any detainee rests with the state. Medical treatment is required on an ongoing basis for detainees. There is hardly ever an adequate answer ??? Himiob posted on Twitter.
Two of Baduel’s sons have also been arrested on the basis of conspiracy allegations, the first of them Raúl Emilio, who is now at large. Josnars Adolfo Baduel was arrested for his alleged participation in a maritime incursion in May 2019 which sought the departure of Maduro. He is still in detention.
Saab pointed out that Baduel received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The disgraced general was jailed in April 2009 and his 8-year sentence was handed down on May 7. his case. In January 2016, he was brought to justice and re-incarcerated after being accused of violating his probation.
With only one year remaining of his sentence, he was charged with new crimes and imprisoned at the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin) in Caracas.
His relatives and lawyers denounced that, in this detention center, and without a court decision justifying his imprisonment, he had been the victim of physical and psychological torture, in a special cell called “La Tumba”? (The fall).
Baduel had to wait a year for his preliminary investigation, a process which by law should be completed within 45 days of his arrest.
In June 2019, he was transferred from Sebin’s headquarters to the military police of Fuerte Tiuna, without informing his lawyer or his family, who denounced an enforced disappearance and could not see him for three months.
In December of the same year, he was admitted to a comprehensive diagnostic center (CDI) in Fuerte Tiuna, but according to his lawyer, he did not receive proper care.
In early 2020, he was returned to Sebin’s headquarters in the Plaza Venezuela district in Caracas. On September 30, he was taken to Sebin’s facilities in El Helicoide.
On this occasion, his daughter Andreina Baduel raised a red flag on social networks and insisted on being allowed to “check her conditions”.
“Enough already, ?? she also wrote.
Foro Penal president Alfredo Romero noted that Baduel is the tenth political prisoner to die in detention since 2014 and the third only this year.
According to Foro Penal, there were 259 political prisoners in Venezuela as of October 5, 126 civilians and 133 of military origin. Only 15 are women, compared to 244 men, while 258 are adults and one is a teenager.