UPDATE 5 December 2016, click link below
Ousainou Darboe, leader of SI member party the United Democratic Party (UDP) was arrested on 16 April 2016 and detained since then, following a peaceful protest. A member of the political opposition in Gambia he, and 18 other political workers, students and civilians, were sentenced to three years imprisonment on 20 July.
Ousainou Darboe at the offices of the SI in London, with the SI SG:
Other unjustly imprisoned civilians in this case:
Momodou L.K Sanneh
Masaneh Lallo Jawla
There are currently some 100 political prisoners in Venezuela, according to a recent OAS report. The Socialist International condemns the unjust imprisonment of those in Venezuela working for democracy, peace and human rights and strongly calls for their immediate release.
Leopoldo López, leader of SI member party Voluntad Popular, was arrested on 18 February 2014 by President Maduro’s government which claimed he had perpetrated ‘treasonous acts’. Lopez was denied bail and sentenced to 13 years and nine months in the military jail of Ramo Verde. As well as calling for his immediate release since he was detained, the Socialist international, which has followed closely with concern his treatment in prison, organised a mission in November 2014 to establish Leopoldo López’s situation; the prison authorities refused visitation rights.
Member of Voluntad Popular and former mayor of the municipality of San Cristobel Tachira, Daniel Ceballos, was arrested on 18 March 2014, accused by the government of inciting violence. He undertook hunger strikes whilst incarcerated, and was eventually transferred to house arrest on 12 August 2015 due to his deteriorating health. On the 27 August 2016 the Interior Ministry transferred him back to San Juan de los Morros prison claiming he was planning to flee and carry out acts of violence at the September 1st peaceful protest march organised in Caracas.
Lawyer and Voluntad Popular member, Yon Goicoechea, was arrested on 29 August 2016, accused of having explosive materials and as working as an agent for the United States. Goicoechea won the Cato Institute’s 2008 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, which the Venezuelan government has since claimed was a ‘bribe’.
UPDATE 30 December 2016, click here for news on the release of Manuel Rosales
Leader of SI member party Un Nuevo Tiempo, UNT, former mayor of Maracaibo, and ex-presidential candidate, Rosales was arrested on 15 October 2015 on arrival to Venezuela after six years in exile. He remains in prison today. Click link below for the SI communiqué on his return to Venezuela.
Click the link below for more information:
Return of Manuel Rosales, leader of the UNT Party, to Venezuela,15 October 2015
Manuel Rosales at the XXIV SI Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, 2012
Update November 2017 - Antonio Ledezma escaped house arrest in Venezuela, where he had been held for more than a thousand days, and was a guest at the SI Council in Barcelona
Mayor of Caracas since 2008 and leader of Alianza Bravo Pueblo, Antonio Ledezma was violently arrested in his office on 19 February 2015 and held for one year before going to trial accused of conspiracy, criminal association and plotting a coup to overthrow the government. He remains under arrest. In February 2016, United Nations Watch, which includes 25 non-governmental human rights groups, jointly awarded him and Leopoldo Lopez this year's prestigious MBA HR Award.
See below for more information, and other SI statements:
Declaration on Venezuela adopted at the SI Council in Geneva, 1-2 July 2016
Resolution on Venezuela adopted by the SI Council in New York, 6-7 July, 2015
Venezuela:on the brink of reaching a point of no return?, 20 February 2015
Resolution on Venezuela adopted by the SI Council in Geneva, 12-13 December 2014
Member Party Congresses
Resolutions and Decisions of the XXV SI Congress
Report to the XXV SI Congress
24 February 2019
10 March 2019
16 March 2019
31 March 2019
Andorran General Council
7 April 2019
9 April 2019
14 April 2019
28 April 2019
Resolutions and Decisions of the XXIV Congress
Report of the Secretary General
02 JANUARY 2017
The release from prison of Manuel Rosales, leader of Un Nuevo Tiempo, UNT, of Venezuela, an SI member party, has been warmly welcomed by the Socialist International. He was unjustly imprisoned following his arrest in October 2015, returning to the country after six years in exile. While celebrating his release, we vigorously protest against the conditions imposed on his freedom, including the need for him to regularly report to authorities, and forbidding him from leaving the country. The International salutes his courage and strength, and expresses its support and solidarity to his family, friends, and comrades...
SI condemns terrorist attack against member party KDP-Iran
21 DECEMBER 2016
The Socialist International firmly condemns the terrorist attack against the party headquarters in Arbil of the SI member Kurdistan Democratic Party, KDP-Iran, which took place on 20 December. The attack was carried out as party members were leaving a memorial ceremony honouring former party leader Abdulrahman Ghassemlou, who was assassinated in Vienna in 1989.
Four party members, a member of the youth organisation and a security guard died in the attack and several others were seriously injured.
Our International extends its deepest condolences to the families and comrades of those killed. The SI reiterates its strong solidarity with all members of the KDP-Iran at this difficult time.
02 DECEMBER 2016
4 NOVEMBER 2016
The Socialist International firmly deplores the arrest this morning of Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, Co-Chairs of the People’s Democratic Party (Halkların Demokratik Partisi), HDP, an SI member party, and the detention of 11 other HDP parliamentarians, in a further blow to Turkish democracy following earlier crackdowns and restrictions on the freedoms and rights of the citizens of that country. The HDP is the third largest political party in Turkey and won seats in parliament in June 2015 despite the existing 10% threshold, and again in the elections re-called in November 2015. In May this year, the immunity that MPs usually hold from prosecution was removed from HDP members. Party members have subsequently protested against repeated raids of their homes and offices...
21 OCTOBER 2016
The Socialist International deplores the decision adopted yesterday, Thursday 20 October, by the Electoral National Council (CNE) of Venezuela to postpone until a new judicial order the process of collection of 20% of signatures required to activate a recall referendum on the government of Nicolás Maduro scheduled for 26, 27 and 28 of this month. In its public declaration, the CNE bases its decision on compliance with the Constitution and observance of precautionary measures adopted by the criminal courts of Valencia, San Fernando Apure, Aragua and Bolivar, after accepting complaints for alleged electoral crimes against the political forces which are members of the Mesa de Unidad Democrática (MUD), an alliance which includes member parties of the SI, in the process to activate the recall referendum...
14 OCTOBER 2016
As the world continues to witness the tragedy taking place in Syria, the Socialist International calls for renewed concerted efforts by the international community to stop the carnage and human suffering which has intensified following the breakdown last month of the brief ceasefire that lasted less than a week. The Syrian people are hostages to a conflict that transcends their country and whose solution today lies primarily outside their borders. According to United Nations figures, some 13.5 million Syrians are today requiring humanitarian assistance…
Standing with Colombia for peace
26 SEPTEMBER 2016
The Socialist International greets the historic signing today in Cartagena of the Peace Accord between the government of Colombia and the FARC, successfully concluding a process which began more than four years ago in Havana. Our International is among those accompanying this significant event, maintaining its commitment and support for peace in Colombia today and for the post-conflict period of disarmament and reconciliation.
13 SEPTEMBER 2016
Despite the election of opposition parliamentarians for the first time in twenty years, legislative elections in Belarus have not delivered true democracy to the people of that country. The Socialist International reiterates its firm support and solidarity to all those in Belarus engaged in the fundamental struggle for democracy and human rights. On 11 September 2016, Belarusian citizens went to the polls for parliamentary elections, the results of which are now known. The new parliament contains two opposition MPs, the first elected since 1996, but remains overwhelmingly dominated by those who support President Alexander Lukashenko....
22 JULY 2016
The Socialist International firmly denounces and condemns the sentencing of Ousainou Darboe, leader of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) of Gambia, an SI member party, along with 18 other party members and sympathisers, to 3 years imprisonment, having been arbitrarily detained since 16 April 2016 following a peaceful demonstration. The SI utterly deplores this travesty of justice and calls for their immediate release. We equally call on the international community to join forces in denouncing the conduct of the dictatorial regime of Yahya Jammeh and calling for an end to the continuing violation of human rights in that country...
- ♦ 23 August 2016
- With great sorrow the SI has learned of the death while in jail of Ebrima Solo Kurumah, UDP party member, the second such case in five months. The SI calls for an urgent full investigation into the circumstances of this tragic death. The Socialist International remains extremely concerned about the lives of all those protestors incarcerated as we have now seen two political prisoners of this group who have lost their lives in the last few months.
16 JULY 2016
The Socialist International condemns the attempt by military forces in Turkey last night and in the early hours of this morning, to bring down the legitimately elected government of the country. Our organisation wholeheartedly shares and fully supports the clear and unequivocal statements made by the leaders of the CHP and the HDP, members of our global political family, as the coup attempt unfolds. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the CHP, said that the country had suffered previous coups and these developments should never be repeated in Turkey, adding that his party fully depends on the free will of the people, indispensable to Turkey’s parliamentary democracy…
12 April 2016
The Socialist International denounces the grave disregard of the sovereign will of the Venezuelan people and the usurpation of powers by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) of the country, which yesterday declared as unconstitutional the Amnesty and National Reconciliation Law that had been approved by a majority in the National Assembly on 29 March this year. The resounding electoral victory in the elections to the National Assembly at the beginning of December 2015 was based on a clear proposal...
CIS, Caucasus and Black Sea
04 APRIL 2016
The Socialist International has followed with great concern the hostilities and attacks that have taken place in the last 48 hours between Armenians and Azerbaijanis with a regrettable loss of numerous lives. Our International calls for an immediate ceasefire and for an end to these hostilities, and at the same time reiterates the urgent need for a resumption of dialogue within the framework of the Minsk Group, a body accepted by both Armenia and Azerbaijan and recognised by the multilateral organisations, to resolve through negotiation and in accordance with the principles of international law...
28 March 2016
The Socialist International expresses its solidarity with the people of Pakistan as they come to terms with the horrendous terrorist attack carried out yesterday near Lahore. Over 70 people lost their lives as they enjoyed a Sunday afternoon in the park, including numerous women and children, and over 300 were injured. We strongly denounce this violent act, as we have other such terrorist attacks in Pakistan and elsewhere. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of the deceased and our sympathy is with all those injured and suffering as a result...
22 FEBRUARY 2016
In recent years the people of Africa have continued advancing and moving forward democratic governance in an important number of countries of the region. Today, more and more people in that continent enjoy freedoms and rights, a precondition for progress, development and peace. Members of the Socialist International in a good number of countries in Africa have been protagonists and actors of an era of change that has been bringing new opportunities and a new face to the political life of the continent. Nevertheless, authoritarianism, oppression and other evils of the past still linger in the political life of some of the countries in the region...