Curaçao politicians remain silent after publication of humiliating Amnesty International report

WILLEMSTAD - On Monday, it remained silent after a shocking report was published in the morning about the violation of the rights of Venezuelans who have fled to the island.

The media paid extensive attention to Amnesty International's report on Monday, but politicians remained silent.

There has been no official response and in case of further questioning – off the record – reference is made to the responsibility of the Netherlands. In 2018, Amnesty also published a report on the human rights violations of refugee Venezuelans in Curaçao. The parties that then formed the government – PAR and MAN – are now in opposition.

Criticism

In 2018, the government said it "did not recognize itself in Amnesty's criticisms". And also that the country adheres to 'international laws and agreements as established in the treaties to which the country is a party'.

In three years, however, little seems to have improved. Amnesty expressed the criticism in the title of the report in 2018: 'Incarcerated and deported. Venezuelans do not receive protection on Curaçao." Three years later, the title is just as telling: 'Still no protection: Venezuelans do not receive protection in Curaçao'.

The report contains several statements by Venezuelans about violence by guards and police. Organizations and lawyers involved in the protection of human rights on the island confirmed those stories on Monday.

Violation

Amnesty's report is based on the stories of 22 Venezuelan refugees, including minors. Venezuelans are detained indefinitely on arrival in Curaçao in the Aliens Barracks on the grounds of the SDKK prison.

In the barracks where the Venezuelans reside, conditions are inhumane, the report said.

They have little access to legal aid and are forced to agree to deportation to Venezuela. According to Amnesty, according to international agreements, no one should be sent back to a country where he or she fears persecution. According to Amnesty, Curaçao also violates the rights of Venezuelan children by locking them up separately from their parents.

Inhuman

In the barracks where the Venezuelans stay, the conditions are also inhumane, according to the report. For example, there is overcrowded cells, a lack of privacy and poor hygiene.

 

Amnesty International calls on the government of Curacao to ensure "that all aliens who need protection have access to the protection procedure". The organization calls on the Dutch government to "guarantee that human rights are respected and protected while supporting or cooperating with Curaçao".




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