The #FreeAlexSaab Movement issued the following statement on March 17.

On March 17, 2023, Camilla Saab, spouse of Alex Saab, reports on the dire health emergency facing the Venezuelan diplomat imprisoned in the U.S.      Photo: #FreeAlexSaab

On Friday, March 17, 2023, Camilla Saab made an urgent call to the world to denounce the dire health condition of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, which endangers his life.

In July 2021, the Working Group against Torture and several United Nations rapporteurs expressed their concern about the irreparable deterioration of Alex Saab’s health condition. 

Let us recall that in Cape Verde, on July 7, 2021, after many refusals, Alex Saab was visited by his family doctor, who, in his report, detected a worrying health condition of the Venezuelan official, especially because Saab is a stomach cancer survivor. The doctor diagnosed: anemia, anorexia, diabetes mellitus type 2, hypothyroidism, hypertension and high risk of thromboembolic disease, including pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. 

In addition, he highlighted that a high infection by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori was found in his blood, and an endoscopy identified bleeding from the digestive tract that could mean a recurrence of cancer. Saab’s lower left molar was found broken, due to the beatings received during the torture, and access to proper medical care was recommended. However, he was never allowed to receive treatment.  

Subsequently, the treating physician issued on Sept. 9, 2021, a new report highlighting the need for patient Alex Saab to receive specialized medical care and asked the authorities of Cape Verde to consider the need to preserve the health and life of Alex Saab. Cape Verde did nothing in this regard. 

Alex Saab arrived in the United States, kidnapped for the second time on Oct. 16, 2021, and from that moment until today, he has not received any medical attention according to the primary diseases that had been reported, ignoring the call of the U.N. rapporteurs. Alex Saab is in the Federal Detention Center in Miami, and his prison situation is even worse than in Cape Verde: He has not been allowed family visits. He has not seen his wife and children, who have also been victims of persecution by the U.S. authorities and their allies, for more than two years and eight months.

Alex Saab has also not been allowed consular visits, a human right of every prisoner deprived of liberty. The U.S. State Department has yet to respond to the Venezuelan State’s request to grant him a consular visit, as established in Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. 

In the medical reports made in July, Alex Saab’s doctor had already informed that they had identified bleeding from the digestive tract, which could mean a cancer recurrence. Now, it is highly alarming to learn that Alex has been vomiting blood for weeks; and despite having reported it to the U.S. authorities, there is still a lack of medical attention at the prison. Why has the U.S. not bothered to treat him? 

Everything indicates that the lack of medical attention is part of a state policy, as was his illegal arrest. Do U.S. authorities want Alex Saab dead? Why, then, the insistence on not providing him with medical attention and not allowing his doctor to visit him? 

Everyone knows that the truth is on the side of the Venezuelan diplomat; and sooner or later, the United States must release him, but they are taking more time than usual. Could it be that they are waiting for his illnesses to develop further? 

We, the #FreeAlexSaab Movement, hold the U.S. government responsible for diplomat Alex Saab’s life and what may happen to him during his illegal detention.

  • We ask that the International Committee of the Red Cross to be present at the Federal Detention Center in Miami-USA. 
  • We urge the High Commissioner of the U.N. Human Rights to take action and denounce this violation of the human rights of the Venezuelan diplomat illegally detained in U.S. territory. 
  • We request the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, as the highest defender of International Law, to make an announcement on this case, which constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and human rights. 
  • We demand immediate freedom for Alex Saab Morán, the Venezuelan diplomat kidnapped in the United States. We urgently require a humanitarian, political and diplomatic solution to this unjust situation. 

It is time to move forward. We urge the U.S. government to sit down and reach an agreement. Venezuela has shown to be open to finding a solution.

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