The Ombudsman rejects the arbitrary arrest of Alex Saab

The Ombudsman rejects the arbitrary arrest of Alex Saab

The Ombudsman, Alfredo Ruiz, expressed this Tuesday through a statement, his rejection of the arbitrary detention of the diplomat Alex Nain Saab, by the United States of America, which violates international law as established by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961).

“The Ombudsman’s Office, as an institution that guarantees human rights, categorically rejects the arrest of the Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Nain Saab, considering that it is an arbitrary detention by the United States of America, which violates international law as sets the Convention of Vienna on Diplomatic Relations (1961) », indicates the text.

After receiving Camila Fabri, Saab’s wife and members of the Free Alex Saab movement, in his office, Ruiz stated that he will closely follow the case to ensure respect for their human rights.

Saab, was appointed on December 24, 2020 as Deputy Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the African Union, charges that show that he is a diplomatic agent.

Below is the full text of the statement:

detention of Alex Nain Saab as a Venezuelan diplomatic agent violates human rights and international law

The Ombudsman’s Office, as an institution that guarantees human rights, categorically rejects the arrest of the Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Nain Saab, considering that it is an arbitrary detention by the United States of America, which violates international law as established the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961).

As Alex Nain Saab will remember, he is a Venezuelan diplomat who was appointed Special Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs on April 9, 2018. Subsequently, on December 24, 2020, he was appointed Deputy Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the African Union, charges that show that he is a diplomatic agent.

As a foreign diplomat, he has the right to absolute immunity and cannot and should not be detained by virtue of said prerogative. As expressed in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations in Article 29, which states: «The person of the Diplomatic Agent is inviolable. He cannot be subject to any form of detention or arrest. The receiving State will treat him with due respect and will take all appropriate measures to prevent any attack on his person, his liberty or his dignity”.

The aforementioned convention, the basis of the international system and the United Nations Organization, also points out in its Article 40, numeral 1, that: “If a diplomatic agent crosses the territory of a third State, (…), the third State shall grant inviolability and all other immunities necessary to facilitate his transit or return. Therefore, both the actions of Cape Verde and the United States are totally illegal and constitute an attack against international relations, world security and the entire system of International Law and respect among nations.

As will be recalled, the mission of the Venezuelan diplomat was to obtain food, medicine and fuel in the Islamic Republic of Iran to help Venezuela against the Covid-19 pandemic, and also to counteract the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the United States that have undermined the Venezuelan economy and an attack against the human rights of Venezuelans.

Therefore, the arrest of Alex Nain Saab first in Cape Verde (June 12, 2020) the cruel treatment to which he was subjected, the torture to make him accept the alleged charges, later his extradition to the United States under an accusation presented before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, on July 25, 2019, represents an express violation of his human rights as a Venezuelan diplomatic agent and threatens the entire United Nations Organization system, which it is based on respect for human rights, the self-determination of peoples and the peaceful resolution of conflicts and controversies.

In this regard, as the National Human Rights Institution, we categorically reject the arbitrary detention and the irregularities recorded specifically in the case of the Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab Nain and his family. We request your immediate release by the government of the United States of America, especially the Department of Justice of that nation for the purpose of rectifying, since one of the principles applied in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is violated, such as is to guarantee the security and integrity of all diplomatic officials in the world.

Caracas, August 16, 2022.

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