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UA 04/94 - Venezuela: extrajudicial executions / fear of torture: at least 150 inmates of Maracaibo National Prison and an unspecified number of Wayuu Indians (includes an addendum dated 2 February)

, Index number: AMR 53/001/1994

At least 150 prisoners died and more than 250 were injured during a riot at Maracaibo National Prison ("Sabaneta") on 3 January 1994. Reports indicate that dozens of prisoners died of asphyxiation and burns during the violent protest but that many were also killed during violence when the security forces entered the prison to regain control. AI is also concerned about reports that many Wayuu Indian prisoners allegedly involved in the riots have been moved to the isolated El Dorado prison, where conditions are apparently appalling. AI fears that they may be at risk of torture or ill-treatment while confined there. In a separate incident, at least 9 inmates were killed and dozens more wounded when the security forces tried to control an attempted escape and rioting by inmates at the State of Aragua Penitentiary on 5 January 1994.

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