Panama Ambassador urges OAS to gain a sense of Judge Afiuni's case
Panamanian Ambassador to the Organization of American States referred to Afiuni's accounts of sexual abuse during her detention in a Venezuelan prison. Her experience is told in a book recently written by Francisco Olivares, the head of the section of Investigative Journalism of daily newspaper El Universal
During the OAS's session, the Panamanian ambassador urged the members of the organization to get familiar with the situation that Afiuni is going through. "The time is now," Cochez said.
During his intervention, the ambassador explained he does not intend "to determine the truth about the facts surrounding Afiuni's imprisonment. However, in view of the statements expressed in UN reports, as well as those from organizations from civil society, and a wide sector of Venezuela, our duty is to call for information on the case."
Meanwhile, Afiuni's trial began on Wednesday. International observer Claudio Morer Jiménez and some representatives from Canada and the EU were present. Afiuni refused to appear in court, yet a recent amendment to the Organic Code on Criminal Procedure allows trial hearings in the absence of the defendant.
At first she agreed that I use her real name, that she had no problems with that at all. After all, living with HIV had driven her to help others – as a workshop facilitator giving talks and conducting seminars, or as a volunteer for local AIDS Service Organizations like Acción Solidaria (Solidary Action) and Mujeres Unidas por la Salud (Women United for Health, or Musa), a support group network for HIV-positive women. But when we were well into the interview, the realization that she might lose her private health insurance coverage made her change her mind.