The Venezuelan government stated that Raul Baduel, who served as defense minister under Hugo Chavez, died of the coronavirus.
The UN Human Rights Office urged Venezuela to conduct an “independent investigation” into the death of the imprisoned former minister Raul Baduel, a well-known dissident who was arrested by the country. The opposition is regarded as a political prisoner.
The office led by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet tweeted on Wednesday: “We are deeply saddened by the death of Raul Bachelet in custody.”
“We call on #Venezuela to ensure independent investigations, take all necessary measures to ensure that detainees have access to medical care, consider alternative detention measures and release all arbitrarily detained.”
🇻🇪 We are deeply saddened by Raul Baduel’s death in custody.We call on #Venezuela To ensure independent investigations, take all necessary measures to ensure that detainees have access to medical care, consider alternative detention measures and release all arbitrarily detained persons.
-United Nations Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) October 13, 2021
After falling out with the Socialist Party, Baduer was arrested in 2009 on corruption charges and was eventually put under house arrest. He was then re-incarcerated in 2017 on suspicion of conspiring against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
As a retired general, he served as Venezuelan Minister of Defense under the leadership of former President Hugo Chavez. But after Baduel opposed the constitutional reform proposed by Chavez, the relationship between the two broke down.
Baduel’s two sons were also arrested on suspicion of conspiracy.
Raul Emilio Baduel has been released, but Josnars Adolfo Baduel is still in custody. He is accused of participating in the failed maritime invasion in May 2020, known as the “Operation Gideon” aimed at overthrowing Maduro.
The country’s attorney general announced on Tuesday that Baduer had passed away, saying that he had died of the coronavirus.
But Tarek Saab did not say whether He was hospitalized or imprisoned when he died. Baduel was detained at the Sebin Intelligence Police Station.
Sabo said on Twitter: “We regret that Raul Isaias Baduel died of heart and lung failure (a product of COVID-19), even though he is receiving appropriate medical care and Got the first dose of vaccine.”
Baduel’s family said they learned of his death through Twitter.
“I didn’t receive a call from anyone in the government,” his wife Cruz Zambrano de Baduel told the EVTV Internet channel. She added that she doubted whether the husband she last saw four weeks ago was infected with COVID-19.
Human rights organizations blamed the government for his death.
Gonzalo Himiob, a lawyer for Foro Penal, a human rights organization that provides legal aid, said on Twitter: “With the death of Raul Isaias Baduel, 10 political prisoners died in custody. .”
“The responsibility for the life and health of any prisoner falls on the country.”