Mérida, Venezuela (11/08/2018) – The Observatory of Human Rights of the University of Los Andes (ODH–ULA) expressed concern over the case of Jessy Divo, rector of the University of Carabobo, who was prevented from travelling out of the country on Aug. 3. This represents an attack against academic work and an infringement of the right to freedom of movement.

The coordinator of the ODH–ULA, Prof. Mayda Hočevar, recalled that every person has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty in a trial, which must be conducted by an fair and autonomous court, although the judicial system is not independent in Venezuela.

Professor Hočevar, coordinator of ODH–ULA, said that the travel ban imposed on Prof. Jessy Divo has been documented as a violation of academic freedom. (Photo Press ODH–ULA)

In this respect, Professor Hočevar pointed out that, in Venezuela, criminal law is use to punish the dissidence, since judicial officials receive orders from the executive power or the government party.

The case of the rector of the University of Carabobo confirms the government is attacking academic freedom and autonomous universities in Venezuela, by criminalizing academic authorities, including Prof. Mario Bonucci, rector of the University of Los Andes (ULA).

In democratic societies, Professor Hočevar explained, essential human rights—such as the right to freedom of movement and the right to freedom of thought—are preserved, but the Venezuelan State limits Professor Divo’s human rights by violating all legal proceedings, considering this event follows accusations made by the president of the unconstitutional Constituent National Assembly (ANC) and member of the government party, Diosdado Cabello.

The ODH–ULA, condemning in stark terms the violation of professor Divo’s rights, signed accordingly the communiqués and warnings issued by the Coalición de Cátedras y Centros Universitarios de Derechos Humanos (Coalition of Chairs and University Human Rights Centers) in support of the highest authority of the University of Carabobo. / Press ODH–ULA

ODH–ULA Condemns Restrictions on Freedom of Rector of University of Carabobo

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