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Wednesday 29 January 2020
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V’zuelan politician: Human rights violations of women at IDC

Carlos Valero, deputy to the National Assembly of Venezuela
Carlos Valero, deputy to the National Assembly of Venezuela

A Venezuelan politician has alleged that the human rights of Venezuelan women held at the Immigration Detention Centre in Aripo are being violated.

Carlos Valero, the deputy to the National Assembly of Venezuelan, made the claims via Twitter.

In three tweets, Valero – an opposition parliamentarian, reported that a group of Venezuelan women who entered TT illegally were being deprived of their liberty. He accused immigration officials of "disrespect (of) their human rights."

He called on the local authorities to "cease" the situation.

"Venezuelans detained in Trinidad and Tobago, who are in the IDC jail, threaten to start a hunger strike if they are kept in the same conditions. We urge the authorities to execute the necessary mechanisms to stop this situation," he said in one tweet.

Valero said some Venezuelan inmates had already served the sentence for illegal entry but were still being kept at the IDC. He asked the government to look into the "procedural delay."

He also shared an audio he claimed he received from one of the detainees, who described what they are going through at the IDC.

"They mistreat us verbally and physically, they don't let us talk to our relatives, isolation, they don't allow the visit of the United Nations organisation (UNHCR), we were not taken into account in the registration process," said a woman.

It is unclear how many Venezuelans, including women, are held at the detention centre.

Chief Immigration Officer Charmaine Gandhi-Andrews, when contacted by Newsday, said the IDC has not been allocated funding to purchase the tickets for the women who fit the criteria for deportation. She said the women are free to purchase their own tickets and return to Venezuela.

Government registered close to 17,000 Venezuelans during a two-week amnesty in August, after which any Venezuelan who had entered illegally and did not have amnesty would be detained and deported.

Valero has previously commented on the status of Venezuelans in TT– including girls and young women who were among 19 rescued from a sex ring in February – and once warned government of its relations with the Nicolas Maduro administration.

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