FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2023
CODEPINK is Gravely Concerned About the Health Condition of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, Illegally Imprisoned in the United States.
CODEPINK makes an urgent call to the U.S government to swiftly intervene and address the dire health situation of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, as his life is at risk.
On July 2021, the Working Group against Torture and several UN rapporteurs raised their alarm about the worrying decline of Alex Saab's health condition after Saab's family doctor visited him in Cape Verde on July 7 and identified multiple serious issues, including anemia, anorexia, diabetes mellitus type 2, hypothyroidism, hypertension, and a high risk of thromboembolic disease including pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. The doctor also detected an infection of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori in Saab's blood and an endoscopy revealed bleeding from the digestive tract, which may indicate a recurrence of the cancer. Additionally, Saab's lower left molar was found to be broken from beatings, and his physician suggested that he access proper medical care; however, he never received the recommended treatment.
On October 16, 2021, Alex Saab was kidnapped a second time and brought to the US. In spite of calls by UN rapporteurs, he has been deprived of medical attention for the ailments he has suffered. His detention at the Federal Detention Center in Miami is even worse than it was in Cape Verde, as he is not allowed family visits, thus not being able to see his wife and children for over two years and eight months. In addition, Alex Saab has not been allowed consular visits, which is a human right of every prisoner deprived of liberty. The U.S. State Department has not responded 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 July, Alex Saab's doctor found that he was suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding, a potential sign of cancer relapse. To make matters worse, he had been vomiting blood for weeks, yet the U.S. authorities had not taken any action to treat him. What is the rationale behind the U.S.'s refusal to provide medical attention?
CODEPINK holds the U.S. Government accountable for the welfare of diplomat Alex Saab Moran, and call for his prompt liberation. We urge the powers-that-be to employ humane, political, and diplomatic tactics to address this heinous predicament.