Published On: Wed, Aug 22nd, 2018

Former Venezuelan military formally requests asylum

prisonWILLEMSTAD - Through a local lawyer the Venezuelan military who illegally arrived on the island by boat last Friday requested political asylum. According to the asylum request (seen by Curaçao Chronicle), the man fears for his life.

The 19-year-old former sergeant says that in April he witnessed tampering with election computers by the government of the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. According to the military, his colleagues who were present were killed or disappeared without a trace. The Venezuelan fears for his life and therefore fled to Curaçao.

Since his arrest, he has tried to make his story clear to the police and prison guards, but to no avail. Eventually he managed to reach a lawyer in the SDKK prison via a cell phone, who filed the asylum application for him.

The lawyer, Achim Henriquez, is afraid that the Venezuelan will be deported anyway. "This would mean that Curaçao would violate human rights, and Article 3 and 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) stipulate that someone may not be returned if there is a real chance that the person will be tortured or killed.

Amnesty International Netherlands has done research on Curaçao in recent months, after signals that Curaçao, in violation of the Human Rights, are sending back Venezuelans who are in danger. The report will be published next month.

The Dutch IND assists the immigration service on Curaçao. The Kingdom Council of Ministers can be held liable as treaty partners in the ECHR for violations by countries in the Kingdom.

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