The IPU is concerned about the arrest on 8 May of the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Edgar Zambrano. His arrest follows the decision of the Constituent Assembly to strip him of his parliamentary immunity as well as that of six other members of the National Assembly, and with the likelihood of three more to come. The IPU only recognizes the National Assembly as the elected representative parliament in Venezuela. As stipulated by the Constitution, only the National Assembly has the authority to remove parliamentary immunity and not the Constituent Assembly. The 10 parliamentarians are accused of conspiracy, rebellion and treason due to their alleged involvement in the video which Speaker of the National Assembly released on 30 April in which he “called on soldiers and the military family to accompany us within the framework of the constitution and in the framework of the non-violent struggle”.
The IPU calls on all sides in Venezuela to respect the rule of law and to work towards finding solutions by and for Venezuelans to the ongoing crisis. The IPU strongly believes that this also entails full respect for the independence and integrity of the National Assembly and the protection of the rights of its members. In this regard, the IPU remains deeply concerned about MP Juan Requesens’ continued detention and the conditions in which he has reportedly been kept since August 2018 and the alleged arbitrary detention since 26 April of MP Gilber Caro, without any official information of his whereabouts.