UN demands Cape Verde to end arbitrary detention of Alex Saab

The United Nations (UN) warned Cape Verde that the torture, arbitrary detention and rapes inflicted on Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab must stop, and asked the government to rule.

According to a press release from the Saab defense team, it is a serious situation, as the government of Cape Verde has been exposed and is presented to the international community as a rogue state and violator of human rights suspected of having committed serious and persistent violations.

An unprecedented letter to the government of Cape Verde was published from the UN on July 19, 2021, in which a group of independent experts expressed their alarm at the fate of Ambassador Alex Saab at the hands of the African nation.

Illegal detentions, torture and cruelty

Suspicions of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, arbitrary arrests and detentions, among other human rights violations, appear in the file of the Cape Verdean authorities.

Alex Saab was arbitrarily arrested and detained in Cape Verde since June 12, 2020, within the framework of an illegal extradition procedure, instrumentalized by the United States of America.

In this regard, the United Nations expresses its “deep concern over the allegations of arbitrary arrest, detention and extradition procedures against Ambassador Saab.”

International statement

The gravity of the situation is reflected in the fact that no less than four UN special rapporteurs and a working group were the authors of the letter and, together, they notified Cape Verde that it should cease and desist from the violations suffered. by Alex Saab. These UN bodies are:

• The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention;
• The Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;
• The Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers;
• The Special Rapporteur on torture and other torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
• And the Special Rapporteur on the negative effects of torture on the human rights of women on the negative effects of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights.
• Serious, rampant and prolonged rape

According to United Nations experts, “the situation of the highest authorities of Cape Verde would violate, in a serious, unbridled and prolonged manner, the commitments of the African country regarding respect and prolonged violation of the laws of Cape Verde. Commitments to respect the most fundamental principles of human rights, the most fundamental principles of human rights ”.

The United Nations, through the Special Procedure, asked the government of Cape Verde to explain “the factual reasons and the legal basis for the arrest, detention and possible extradition of Ambassador Alex Saab Moran to the United States, including the exact nature of the charges in his against and the facts that support those charges; on the violation of judicial, consular guarantees and other procedural guarantees; on the allegations of torture and ill-treatment of Ambassador Saab; on the violation of his right to physical integrity and the deterioration of his health attributable to the authorities; on the risk of torture in case of extradition; and on the violation of the diplomatic immunity of Ambassador Alex Saab ”.

Silence in Cape Verde

The government of Cape Verde, in accordance with what has become its standard modus operandi regarding international criticism for its handling of the Alex Saab affair, remains silent, unwilling to respond to diplomatic subpoenas, at the cessation of the human rights violations.

United Nations staff who spoke on condition of anonymity commented that, “In doing so, Cape Verde continues to isolate itself from the international community, in accordance with the usual withdrawal strategy used by most criminal and human rights violating states. In the absence of independent and impartial justice, and in the face of an exceptionally serious situation, the human rights violations suffered by Alex Saab continue with impunity in Cape Verde. Cape Verde has no more excuses. From now on, no one in the government will be able to say that they did not know. “

Ordinary Cape Verdeans, who to this day have not been aware of the seriousness of the situation, are the ones who probably pay the highest price for their country’s isolation on the international stage; economically, politically and, in terms of long-term reputation.

José Manuel Pinto Monteiro, Alex Saab’s lead lawyer in Cape Verde, said “it is up to the people of Cape Verde to hold this government accountable for the serious and persistent human rights violations that have been vehemently denounced by Cedeao (Economic Community of States West Africa) and the United Nations. I urge the Cape Verdean authorities to release Alex Saab immediately and demand responsibility ”.

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