REPORT Nº 52/08 1 PETITION 400-06 ADMISSIBILITY TULIO ALBERTO ÁLVAREZ VENEZUELA July 24, 2008 I. 2 SUMMARY 1. On April 26, 2006 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Inter-American Commission,” “the Commission,” or “the IACHR”) received a petition submitted by Tulio Alberto Álvarez (hereinafter “the petitioner” or “the alleged victim”) against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (hereinafter “the State” or “the Venezuelan State”) regarding the criminal trial and sentence imposed on him for the crime of aggravated defamation as a result of his statements about alleged embezzlement committed by a former Deputy and President of the National Assembly. The petition alleges that the narrated events constitute violations of the rights protected by Articles 8 (right to a fair trial), 11 (right to privacy), 13 (freedom of thought and expression), 24 (right to equal protection), and 25 (right to judicial protection), as related to the general obligations established in Article 1(1) of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the American Convention” or “the Convention”). 2. On its part, the State argued that the penal process against the presumed victim was pursuit in accordance and respect of the Venezuelan law. Additionally, the State informed that on December 20, 2007 the Ninth Court of the First Instance in Functions of Execution of the Judicial Penal Circuit of the Metropolitan Area of Caracas granted Mr. Alvarez the conditional suspension of the Execution of the Sentence for the lapse of one year by virtue of the request interposed by the representatives of the presumed victim before the IACHR and that resulted in an express request of the Commission to the State “to leave without effects the execution of the judgment until the case is solved in a definitive manner by the organs of the inter-American system of human rights”. 1 According to Article 17.2 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission, Commission member Luz Patricia Mejía, a Venezuelan national, did not participate in either the debate or decision in this case. 2 In the judicial files, the names “Julio Alberto Álvarez” and “Tulio Alberto Álvarez” are used indiscriminately; however, the Commission identifies the alleged victim as Tulio Álvarez, the name he calls himself.