Courtesy Fuser News
As part of the global solidarity with Venezuela's special envoy to Iran, Alex Saab, the US social movement Codepink activated a website to collect signatures and ask the US Department of Justice to drop the charges against the diplomat, arguing that his only "crime" has been to obtain food and medicine for the Venezuelan people in the midst of the brutal imperial economic blockade.
The request, addressed to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, comes after an illegal extraction operation was carried out on Saturday 16 October to transfer Ambassador Saab from Cape Verde, where he was arbitrarily detained since 12 June 2020, to the United States (US).
In this sense, Codepink urges people from all over the world to put their signatures to stop the human rights violations committed against Alex Saab, joining the international support for the diplomat. Click on the following link to join the cause for freedom https://www.codepink.org/freealexsaab.
The full text of the request is set out below:
Dear Attorney General Merrick Garland,
Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab has been arbitrarily detained and tortured in Cape Verde due to an extradition request made by the Department of Justice under the Trump administration.
This request was prompted by Trump's maximum pressure campaign to overthrow the Venezuelan government, particularly with regard to US sanctions that have killed 100,000 Venezuelans, according to a former UN special rapporteur. Ambassador Saab is being castigated for helping the Venezuelan government build homes, obtain food and strike trade deals in the context of a brutal economic war.
Mr. Saab's arrest occurred while his plane was being refuelled in Cape Verde, on his way back to Venezuela from Iran. The Cape Verdean authorities detained him, claiming that there was an Interpol red notice. There was no such red notice, but it was issued one day after Mr. Saab's arrest. Furthermore, Mr. Saab was appointed as a diplomat in 2018; his detention violates the Vienna Convention.
The Economic Community of West African States and the African Bar Association have called his detention arbitrary and demanded his release. The UN Human Rights Committee called for a halt to the extradition process.
Mr. Saab has been tortured during his detention. He writes: "The United States has four employees who enter my cell every night and beat me to get me to make false statements against Maduro (...) I have been tortured to get me to testify against Nicolás Maduro and sign my voluntary extradition to the United States".
It is clear that Mr. Saab is a political prisoner whose rights have been repeatedly violated.
In addition, Alex Saab has been appointed as a member of the Venezuelan government's negotiating team at the talks in Mexico. Halting his extradition and dropping the charges would be a step forward for the cause of peace in Venezuela.
Release Alex Saab!