Student protesters are jailed illegally and charged with inciting hate during Copa America semifinal

July 15, 2007

Arbitrary behavior by military and police authorities has now become the rule of the day. Yesterday, during the semifinal of the America Cup, four students (all brothers) painted their hands white and distributed pamphlets at the stadium, defending their civil righst as guaranteed by the Constitution.. They were quickly detained and taken to a military facility by as many as 40 soldiers and some “Chavistas” in red t-shirts, they were held overnight and released today.

There are a number of illegal facts about this detention:

First, the students were detained by the military and taken to a military facility which is not their jurisdiction, only later were they taken to a police building.

Second, they were detained at the university stadium which is located within an autonomous university, where they simply can not be detained by either military or police authorities as established in the Constitution.

But the worst part is that the students are being charged with “inciting hate” and will have to show up at the Court every eight days. Thus, a simple political protest, very much like those carried out by thousands of students in recent weeks is now criminalized by the autocracy, because the protest was carried out in front of foreign reporters during the regime’s “showcase” Copa America and the students were making the Government look bad, shwoing not everyone lkes the Dictator.

What next?

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