GENEVA (26 March 2019) – A UN human rights expert expressed grave concern at the further five-year jail sentence handed down against Venezuelan Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni, condemning it as another act of reprisal against her.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued an opinion in 2010 declaring Judge Afiuni Mora’s detention arbitrary.

Judge Afiuni was arrested in 2009 after then-President Hugo Chavez demanded she be imprisoned for 30 years, criticising her for releasing businessman Eligio Cedeño. She had issued that ruling in accordance with a decision by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. In jail, she was ill-treated and refused medical treatment by the authorities.

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