Stand against state-sponsored homophobia! Demand justice for 33 gay men arbitrarily detained at a sauna in Valencia, Venezuela. #JusticiaParaLos33

We, the global community of human rights activists and LGBTQ+ advocates, write to express our deep concern and outrage over the recent incident of arbitrary detention and the violation of the rights of 33 gay men at a sauna in Valencia, Venezuela, on July 23, 2023.

It has come to our attention that these individuals were arrested by the Venezuelan police and are being held in conditional release, pending a trial where they face charges of "Ultraje al pudor" (outrage against modesty), "Conspiración para delinquir" (conspiracy to commit a crime), and "Contaminación sónica" (sonic polution). We firmly believe that these charges are fabricated and a pretext to justify the unjust treatment and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.

This act of the state-sponsored crackdown on homosexuality is a clear manifestation of the deeply rooted homophobia within certain segments of the Venezuelan law enforcement and judicial system. It is a stark reminder of the grave challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in Venezuela, where basic human rights are denied based on one's sexual orientation or gender identity.

We, the undersigned, demand justice for the victims of this arbitrary detention. We call for a transparent and fair trial, free from prejudice and discrimination, where the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty based on concrete evidence, not on their sexual orientation. The Venezuelan authorities must adhere to international human rights standards and principles, ensuring that justice is served without any bias. #JusticiaParaLos33 #StopHomophobia

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To Tarek William Saab, Attorney General and Gladys Gutierrez, President of the Supreme Court of Justice of Venezuela:

We ask the Venezuelan State, specifically the Fiscalía General de la República, the Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Interiores, Justicia y Paz and to the Defensoría del pueblo:

1) That the case is desestimated and the 33 arrested men are fully released, as there is no criminal justification for their detention.
2) That measures be taken against the officials and authorities involved in the arrest, both the police and the inspectors and the judge involved.
3) That the policy of criminalization of LGBTIQ+ persons by institutions of the State cease.
4) That they take reparatory actions and indemnify the victims and guarantee that they will not be repeated.
5) That advances in terms of laws, policies and guarantees in terms of human rights of LGBTIQ+ people.

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Goal: 40,000