The signatories to this petition intend to alert Venezuelan citizens and the international community at large about the seriousness of Venezuela’s withdrawal from the American Convention on Human Rights (“ACHR”). Said act of denunciation was presented by the Venezuelan State before the Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) on September 10, 2012. In accordance with the ACHR this denunciation will entry into force next September 10, one year after the prior notice period, pursuant to article 78 of the Convention.
The denunciation of this Human Rights treaty by the Venezuelan State represents a grave act that violates, de facto and de jure, the principles of progressivity, irreversibility and inalienability of human rights since the ACHR, designed to protect the individual, will not be applicable any longer to those persons under the jurisdiction of Venezuela, leaving victims defenseless in most cases. On the international law side, this withdrawal constitutes a step back concerning the obligation of Venezuela to respect and guarantee Human Rights in light of international standards as recognized by the ACHR. It is important to emphasize that this unfortunate action taken by the Venezuelan State has become a deep concern to many members of the international community who regretted the decision.
Likewise, the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights received an early warning last month, presented by individuals from Venezuela’s civil society, on the potential collateral damage of this denunciation within the Inter-American System. In the field of domestic human rights law, the Venezuelan State has breached constitutional provisions. For that reason, human rights defenders, activists, victims, law professors and citizens in general filed a claim last September challenging the validity of the aforementioned denunciation before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice.
However, Venezuelan judiciary has not answer this petition yet. It must be noted that the Venezuelan State is infringing the right to petition before international jurisdictions established under articles 33 of the ACHR and 31 of Venezuela’s Constitution. Consequently, impunity is expected to grow making victims’ reparation unachievable as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights will not be able to deliver justice in cases that were unsolved locally. In thirty years major efforts were made to strengthen the protection of human rights in Venezuela. This denunciation of the ACHR hampers the fight for dignity and humanity against the undemocratic use of power by the State.
Therefore, we urge the Venezuelan State to reconsider its decision to denounce the ACHR. Bearing in mind the purposes and core values of democracy, we would like to ask for your solidarity and support by signing and disseminating this petition.
Source: International Law Blog