Luis Carlos Diaz, a Venezuelan journalist who is an expert in networks and critical of the Nicolás Maduro regime, was arrested on Monday, without capture order, by the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN) after leaving his radio program, denounced his wife and colleague Naky Soto. On Tuesday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, referred to the arrest and asked the authorities for “urgent access” for her technical mission in Venezuela to Díaz.
I am deeply concerned about the alleged detention of the reputed journalist by the Venezuelan intelligence services, and for his well-being, the High Commissioner said on Twitter.
Since Monday, the technical work mission of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) prior to Bachelet's visit has been in Venezuela. The work team will meet with government leaders, representatives of the National Assembly, with civil society organizations and with victims of human rights violations, the international organization told in a press release.
Diaz, who is accused by the Maduro’s regime of committing computer crimes by participating in alleged sabotage to the Venezuelan electricity grid that has left most of the country in shadows since last week, is being held at El Helicoide, intelligence headquarters.
On Monday, Diosdado Cabello, Chavismo strong man and president of the pro-government National Constituent Assembly, showed a video on his television program Con el Mazo Dando where the prominent journalist appears explaining what a blackout is, accusing him of having explained the plan that an opposition sector used to generate the “sabotage” that was recorded on Thursday.
Díaz was missing for several hours. Neither his wife nor his colleagues knew anything about him until the SEBIN showed up with him handcuffed in his house, to conduct a raid in which they seized and removed computers, pen drives, cell phones, money, and a hard drive, his wife reported.
Estoy profundamente preocupada por la presunta detención del reputado periodista @LuisCarlos por parte de los servicios de inteligencia venezolanos, y por su bienestar. La misión técnica de @ONU_derechos que se encuentra en Caracas pidió a las autoridades acceso urgente a Díaz.— Michelle Bachelet (@mbachelet) 12 de marzo de 2019