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Venezuela-Update： Human rights defender Ms Marianela Sánchez Ortiz threatened
On 22 June 2012, Ms Marianela Sánchez Ortiz was threatened by four unknown individuals as she was entering the building of her workplace in Caracas.
Marianela Sánchez Ortiz is the Legal Coordinator for the Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones (OVP - Venezuelan Prisons Observatory), which documents violations against prison detainees in Venezuela.
On 22 June 2012, at approximately 12.35pm, Marianela Sánchez Ortiz was walking from the Judicial Circuit Criminal Court of Caracas towards the building where the headquarers of the OVP is located when she noticed four unknown men. Two of them were walking from the direction of the Court and the other two were standing in front of the OVP building. One of the men stood in front of Marianela Sánchez Ortiz and prevented her from entering the building, while she heard the other man say “Esa es” (that's her). She managed to enter the building and inform colleagues of what had happened. The two men were later witnessed by a colleague of Marianela Sánchez Ortiz changing shirts with one another, in an apparent attempt not to be recognised.
Front Line Defenders expresses concern at this act of threat and intimidation against Marianela Sánchez Ortiz, and believes it to be directly related to her legitimate and peaceful human rights work with the Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones in defending prison detainees' rights. On 1 June 2012, Front Line Defenders issued an urgent appeal related to an attack and death threats towards the family of Marianela Sánchez Ortiz (http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/18520).
Front Line Defenders calls on the Venezuelan authorities to provide immediate measures to ensure the physical and psychological integrity and security of Marianela Sánchez Ortiz and her family, and to carry out an independent, thorough and impartial investigation into the threats against the defender, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards.
We also call on the authorities to guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Venezuela are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including threats and intimidation.
You can find additional information on the situation for human rights Defenders in Venezuela. HERE