Our Voices

Foro Penal And RFK Human Rights Call For The Immediate Release Of Human Rights Defender And Pro-Democracy Activist In Venezuela

On December 6th, 2023, the National Intelligence Bolivarian Service (SEBIN for its initials in Spanish) arbitrarily detained Roberto Abdul-Hadi, a human rights defender and the President of the Venezuelan NGO Súmate.

Abdul Hadi’s arrest was confirmed by his wife and reported to Foro Penal’s President Alfredo Romero, who disclosed that SEBIN agents detained Abdul-Hadi on charges of treason, conspiracy with a foreign power, and association to commit crimes. Abdul-Hadi, a member of the Comisión Nacional Primaria (CNP), played a crucial role in organizing the October 22 primary elections, where Maria Corina Machado secured an overwhelming 93.13% of the vote.

In the absence of official confirmation regarding his whereabouts and the inability of his family to establish contact, he is presently a victim of enforced disappearance. His arbitrary detention and subsequent disappearance highlights a recurring pattern in Venezuela where political persecution is used to consolidate the Government’s power, and to perpetuate a climate of fear and repression.

Beyond the immediate repercussions on Abdul-Hadi and his family, this unlawful detention sends shockwaves through the entire community of human rights defenders and pro-democracy activists in Venezuela.

Foro Penal and RFK Human Rights call for the immediate release of Roberto Abdul-Hadi. We vehemently oppose this egregious violation and commit our ongoing support to the safeguarding of human rights defenders, democratic values, and an open civic space in Venezuela.

Read this article in Spanish here.