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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the case of Maria Lourdes Afiuni


with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure

Fiorello Provera, Oreste Rossi, Mara Bizzotto on behalf of the EFD Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0414/2010

Procedura : 2010/2767(RSP)
Ciclo di vita in Aula
Ciclo del documento :  
Testi presentati :
Testi approvati :


European Parliament resolution on the case of Maria Lourdes Afiuni

The European Parliament,

– having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Venezuela,

– having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the rule of law and independence of the judiciary are essential components of the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

B. whereas the independence of the judiciary is of primary importance for the respect of democracy and fundamental freedoms,

C. whereas Article 26 of the Venezuelan Constitution states that the judiciary should be autonomous and independent,

D. whereas judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni was detained on 10 December 2009 after she authorized the conditional release of Eligio Cedeno, a banker accused of corruption, on the basis that he had been in pre-trial detention for almost three years, despite the 2-year limit prescribed by Venezuelan law,

E. whereas on 11 December 2009 President Hugo Chavez said judge Afiuni was a "bandit" and should be sentenced to 30 years in prison,

F. whereas judge Afiuni remains in detention in a women's prison, where she shares space with convicted prisoners, some of whom were tried before her,

G. whereas on 16 December 2009 three UN Rapporteurs called for her "immediate and unconditional release" saying that "reprisals for exercising their constitutionally guaranteed functions and creating a climate of fear among the judiciary and lawyer's profession serve no purpose except to undermine the rule of law and obstruct justice",

H. whereas on 11 January 2010 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ruled that judge Afiuni was entitled to protective measures and called on Venezuela to "adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the life and physical integrity of judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni",

I. whereas at least five high-profile critics of President Hugo Chavez have been arrested since August 2009 on what appear to be politically motivated grounds,


1. Strongly condemns the arrest of judge Marias Lourdes Afiuni; calls on the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to implement the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and to release Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni immediately;


2. Expresses its deep concern at the deterioration of civil and political rights in Venezuela;

3. Reminds the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela of its obligation to respect the independence of the judiciary and freedom of expression, association and the ability of civil society groups to promote human rights;

4. Is deeply worried by the increased authoritarianism shown by the government of President Hugo Chávez, whose actions are directed towards weakening the democratic opposition and restricting the rights and freedoms of citizens;

5. Calls on the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in view of the parliamentary elections on 26 September 2010, to respect the rules of democracy and the principles of freedom of expression, assembly and association;

6. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Government and National Assembly of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly and the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States.