Sunday, May 27, 2018

Civilian doctor in Venezuela's military court

Venezuela is exercising military jurisdiction over a civilian physician, according to this MercoPress report:
José Alberto Marulanda, a surgeon who maintained a romantic relationship with an officer of the Navy accused of attending meetings to execute a military uprising was arrested by uniformed officers of the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (Dgcim) on May 20 - elections day-.

El Pitazo reports that it was not until Thursday, May 24, that the civilian doctor was presented before military courts to receive charges. The director of Criminal Forum, Alfredo Romero, noted that the doctor reported the loss of sensitivity in his hands because he was hanged by handcuffs and had lost his hearing in his right ear for a supposed blow.

Romero denounced that the man was not allowed to defend himself at the court, because he was entered into the military complex through the back door. The military judge charged him with the crimes of instigating hatred and treason; the latter is the most serious accusation in the Venezuelan penal legislation, both civil and military.
Human rights jurisprudence strongly disfavors the exercise of military jurisdiction over civilians. Torture violates the Convention Against Torture. 

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