The UN has demanded a “independent investigation” into the death of a Venezuelan dissident.
On Wednesday, the UN human rights office urged the Venezuelan government to allow a “independent investigation” into the murder of a renowned dissident in detention.
According to an official release earlier this week, General Raul Baduel, who allied with Venezuela’s late Hugo Chavez but then broke ties with the socialist strongman and spent years as a prominent political prisoner, died of Covid-19.
“Raul Baduel’s death in detention has left us heartbroken. We urge #Venezuela to conduct a thorough inquiry “On Twitter, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights announced the news.
The agency also demanded that Venezuelan detainees be given access to healthcare and that those who had been arbitrarily detained be released.
President Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorship, according to Baduel’s daughter Andreina Baduel, “assassinated” her father, adding on Twitter that “it was erroneous that he possessed Covid-19.”
Baduel served as Chavez’s defense minister and assisted in his re-election following a coup attempt in April 2002.
After Baduel fought against a constitutional revision advocated by Chavez, the two fell out.
Baduel was charged with corruption in 2009 and sentenced to eight years in prison.
Baduel was released in 2015 but was jailed again in 2017 on charges of plotting against Maduro.
Two of Baduel’s sons have also been detained on suspicion of conspiring.
Raul Emilio Baduel has subsequently been released, while Josnars Adolfo Baduel remains detained, suspected of participating in the attempted sea invasion known as “Operation Gideon” in May 2020, which was aimed at deposing Maduro.
Baduel was the tenth political prisoner to die in captivity since 2015, according to Gonzalo Himiob of Foro Penal, a human rights organization that provides legal assistance.