WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
12 Mar 2019 | Joint Statement

Regional Human Rights Organizations Demand Release of Journalist and Human Rights Defender Luis Carlos Díaz

On the afternoon of March 11, 2019, journalist and human rights defender Luis Carlos Diaz was detained by Venezuelan security forces and his whereabouts remained unknown for several hours. He was forcibly disappeared until midnight when the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) revealed that he had been detained in connection with alleged cyber crimes. Today, at 2:30 a.m., the journalist was transferred by SEBIN to witness the search carried out in his home. Luis Carlos Díaz’s wife, Naky Soto, confirmed that he had been the victim of cruel and degrading treatment during his detention. The activist is currently in custody and awaits a decision by the Venezuelan Public Ministry to formalize charges against him or release him.

As organizations devoted to advancing human rights in the Americas, we condemn acts of violence carried out against Venezuelans peacefully exercising their fundamental right to freedom of expression. We are profoundly concerned by this arbitrary detention of Mr. Díaz, and we call for his immediate release, and for his health and wellbeing to be guaranteed. In addition, we request that the technical team of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, currently in Caracas, visit Luis Carlos Díaz and verify his physical and psychological integrity.

Signing organizations:

Center For Justice & International Law (CEJIL), United States
Conectas Dereitos Humanos, Brazil
Coordinadora de Derechos Humanos, Peru
Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), United States