Professor Nils Melzer, UN Rapporteur on Torture, wrote a book about the illegal extradition procedures against Julian Assange and demonstrated the breakdown of the rule of law in the US, UK, Sweden and Ecuador. The case of Ambassador Alex Saab is no less scandalous, because here the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and multiple provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights have been grossly violated by the US and Cape Verde. Saab is another victim of “lawfare” by the US with the complicity of the mainstream media and the culpable silence of the United Nations. We need another Emile Zola to alert world public opinion about this new “Dreyfus Affair”. Saab’s trumped-up indictment is actually worse than the 1898 Dreyfus Affair, but the human rights institutions have failed him and humanity at large. J’accuse all those who by their silence are denying justice and liberty to Alex Saab. Human dignity requires his immediate release.
Professor Alfred de Zayas, former UN Independent Expert on International Order.
1. Two days ago, the defense of Alex Saab presented his response presenting irrefutable evidence of his immunity and the US recognition of the Maduro government.
2. The evidence presented by the defense shows that:
a. Alex Saab’s diplomatic passport is authentic.
b. There is no legal requirement for his appointment to be published in the Gazette. To the contrary, any public announcement would have defeated the purpose of his missions to Iran.
c. The United States, contrary to his public statements, has been recognizing the government of President Maduro throughout the Trump and Biden administrations.
3. In summary, the defense relies on the 11th Circuit precedent, Abdulaziz v. Metropolitan Dade County, confirming that special mission envoys who qualify as heads of mission are protected by the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (“1961 Convention”).
This is the case of the Saudi citizen, Prince Turki Bin Abdulaziz, who lived with his family in Dade County (Florida) and requested diplomatic recognition after filing a lawsuit against the Dade County police officers who had carried out a search warrant based on information that a domestic worker was being held against her will in her home.
The officers filed a counterclaim, seeking damages for injuries they suffered at the hands of Prince Turki’s personal bodyguards. It was then that Saudi Arabia appointed Prince Turki as a special envoy for matters related to the Government of Saudi Arabia, and the State Department recognized this status.
4. Abdulaziz directly argues that special envoys, who are also heads of mission, are entitled to the immunities available to diplomatic agents under the 1961 Convention.
5. Alex Saab is a special envoy and head of mission and is therefore a diplomatic agent under the 1961 Convention and is entitled to immunity as such. The government’s assertion to the contrary on this point does nothing more than invite the Court to challenge the control precedent.
6. The United States cannot, consistent with its own statutes, treaty obligations, and customary international law, disregard Alex Saab’s immunity as a duly accredited Venezuelan diplomat in and on mission to Iran.
7. By detaining and imprisoning him, the United States has violated his diplomatic immunity and flouted its own international legal obligations, in turn endangering hundreds of its own diplomats.
Legal documents of the case of Alex Saab
Oscar Lopez Puerto Rican independence hero defends Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, imprisoned in a United States federal prison for evading sanctions against the Venezuelan people and legally purchasing food, fuel, and medical equipment.