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Venezuela: Trans Lawyer and Daughter Threatened By Police

    Saturday, February 11, 2017 - 12:20

    Transgender lawyer Samantha Seijas was threatened by a police officer from the Aragua Police Force, in central Venezuela, while filing a complaint in a police station accompanied by his daughter. Fears exist for their safety.

    On 31 January, after filing a complaint at a police station, transgender lawyer Samantha Seijas and his daughter Aleska Seijas were beaten in the head and face by police officers from the Police Force of Aragua, who uttered derogatory phrases such as “what happened to trying to act all manly?“ (¿no te la tiras de macho?), referring to his gender identity. He told Amnesty International that as well as beating them, one of the officers threatened Samantha by saying “pray to God that I don’t find you out alone at night“ (pídele a Dios que no te encuentre de noche sola por la calle). It is important to note that Samantha Seijas and his daughter live in front of the police station.

    The day after these events, Samantha Seijas presented a complaint before the Public Prosecutor’s office. He is afraid that the proximity of the police station and by extension, the presence of the police officers from the Aragua Police Force, will lead to the threats being carried out.

    To date, there have been no reports of an investigation having been initiated based on Samantha Seijas’ complaint.

     

    Please send a letter, fax, and/or email without delay. (Postage is $2.50.)

    * Express concern for the safety of Samantha Seijas and Aleska Seijas and urging the authorities to guarantee their safety in accordance with their wishes.

    * Call on the authorities to initiate a comprehensive and impartial investigation into the reported attacks, to make the results public and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.

     

    Address your messages to

    Attorney General

    Dra. Luisa Ortega Díaz      

    Fiscalía General de la República

    Avda. México, Manduca a Pelelojo,        

    Edif. Sede Fiscalía General de la República, La Candelaria

    Caracas, Venezuela            

    Fax:                 011 58 212 509 8504

    Email:             ministeriopublico@mp.gov.ve  

    Salutation:     Dear Attorney General / Señora Fiscal

     

    Director General of the Aragua Police Force

    Comisionado Jefe (PNB) Eulises Farias

    Av Constitución Este, Sector San Jacinto, Código Postal 2102,

    Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela

    Tel:                 011 58 243 671 8669 

    Email:             far.val.eul@gmail.com

    Salutation:     Dear Commissioner / Comisionado

     

    Ombudsperson

    Dr. Tarek William Saab 

    Defensor del Pueblo

    Av. Urdaneta - Frente a El Universal

    Centro Financiero Latino, Piso 27 

    Caracas, Venezuela 

    Fax:                 011 58 212 5077025

    Email:             contacto@defensoria.gob.ve

    Salutation:     Dear Ombudsman / Señor Defensor

     

    Please send a copy to

     

    His Excellency Wilmer Omar Barrientos Fernández

    Ambassador for Venezuela

    32 Range Road

    Ottawa, Ontario K1N 8J4

    Fax:                 (613) 235-3205

    E-mail:           embve.caotw@mppre.gob.ve

     

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    The Aragua Police Force has a history of excessive use of force. In 2016 there were complaints of excessive use of force during demonstrations, such as in the case of Laura Lara, the victim of a brutal beating which was caught on video, carried out by various male police officers from the Aragua State Police Force, in central Venezuela. There have also been reports registered of harassment of LGBTI individuals in the past by this police force.

    Among other complaints, there have been cases where police officers from the Aragua Police Force have been implicated in the harassment, threatening and murder of members of the Barrios family since 1998, confirmed by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in their 2011 ruling. To date, the events have not been investigated, nor have the respective perpetrators been identified.

     

     

    If you wish to receive updates on this case, email urgentaction@amnesty.caIn the subject line, write “Keep me updated on UA 40/17 Venezuela”.

     

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