Case 21-2016: Captain Kenny Strauss of the Bolivarian Army of Venezuela
Submitted by Prosecutor Master Yan Maitri-Shi
HONORABLE JURY OF INTERNATIONAL BUDDHIST ETHICS COMMITTEE (IBEC) & BUDDHIST TRIBUNAL ON HUMAN RIGHTS (BTHR)
After Legitimating and Validating Proofs, Evidences and Charges by Buddhist Master Maitreya, President and Spiritual Guide of IBEC-BTHR, it is addressed the case against the accused, Captain Kenny Strauss of the Bolivarian Army of Venezuela. This investigation was initiated by the International Buddhist Ethics Committee from the allegation made by the World Association of Buddhism.
Below, the Charges by which the International Buddhist Ethics Committee is accusing Captain Kenny Strauss of the Bolivarian Army of Venezuela:
- VIOLATION OF BUDDHIST ETHICAL PRECEPTS
- COMPLICITY WITH VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Therefore, it is detailed a series of EVIDENCES that support the Charges referred so that the Jury members decide about the possible “Responsibility”, “Innocence” or “Insanity” of the accused. Such evidences come from graphic and audiovisual media that have been gathered, sorted and confirmed in their order and context as Means of Proof in order to know, establish, dictate and determine the Responsibility of the Accused for committing the aforementioned Charges.
The procedure established in the Statute of INTERNATIONAL BUDDHIST ETHICS COMMITTEE & BUDDHIST TRIBUNAL ON HUMAN RIGHTS provides both bodies the ostentation to enjoy independence and liberty from state and national regulation and control, besides having the legality and acting as a Buddhist People in order to assert their customs, traditions, practices, procedures, judgments and rights as well as acting in pursuit of the development of Spirituality, of Buddhist Ethics, and of the defense of International Human Rights. This procedure has the particularity, singularity and distinction of having: “Special Jurisdiction of the Tribal Law” and “Universal Jurisdiction of the International Law”, thus having the Character, Juridical validity, Legal Powers, Infrastructure, Training and Capability necessary to be Actor, Administrator and Executor of Justice in this realm and exercise, by determining the “Responsibility” of the Accused by means of an Ethical Judgment whose Purpose is Truth, Reconciliation and Learning.-
DETAIL OF EVIDENCES
Evidence 1: VIOLATION OF BUDDHIST PRECEPTS
International Buddhist Ethics Committee: The accused affiliated with the World Association of Buddhism in 2014, and also enrolled as a student at Maitreya Buddhist University. Both institutions have the International Buddhist Ethics Committee as a common mechanism to solve problems. These are institutions that respect human rights and the highest standards of Ethics and Spirituality. Mr. Strauss always felt comfortable with the organization. The problem arises from a message of Mr. Strauss in October 2016, when showing interest in re-initiating studies at Maitreya Buddhist University, and then he signed his email as Captain of the Bolivarian Army of Venezuela. During those same days, the International Buddhist Ethics Committee and the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights became fully aware of serious violations of human rights in Venezuela, such as the violation of the democratic system and detentions for political reasons. When Mr. Strauss was asked about his position on these violations, which would be in absolute contradiction with Buddhist ethics and international law, he stated he was against all violations of human rights in Venezuela. The existence of political prisoners in Venezuela is of great concern to the International Buddhist Ethics Committee, not only because it is antidemocratic, but also because it intrinsically is an attack on peace. The World Association of Buddhism, of which the accused is an adherent member, must maintain its purity, so it is attentive to any violation against Buddhist ethics that may be committed by members. Therefore, the Prosecutor of the International Buddhist Ethics Committee asked the accused the following questions: Do you consider that the human rights violations that are happening in Venezuela are contrary to Buddhist ethics? Or do you consider there are no violations of human rights in Venezuela which are being carried out by the government and the army? In his response, Captain Strauss stated that he was “in complete disagreement with human rights violations in Venezuela and anywhere in the world … neither here nor in China, or in Argentina or anywhere.” However, immediately after stating that, Mr. Strauss said that his Buddhist condition has nothing to do with his profession, ignoring fundamental Buddhist ethical precepts that every follower must maintain in his private life, such as not hurting other living beings. Mr. Strauss also asked to withdraw from the Buddhist organization World Association of Buddhism, expressing concern by the fact that his position on human rights violations in Venezuela is widespread, by stating “no one guarantees me the right to confidentiality of my answer or that you spread my answer which will bring negative consequences both in my private professional and family life”. After this, Mr. Strauss dedicated his Statement to the Prosecutor to make a long list of comments in a sarcastic tone. The last part of Mr. Strauss’s statement was intended to compare the Buddhist Ethics Committee with the Nazis and the Islamic State.
Statement of Captain K. Strauss: “Oh great deity, divinity, excellence, superiority, culmination, maturity, splendor, purity, goodness, your majesty, all goodness and all justice and that (the Prosecutor), who certainly I do not know who she is, I congratulate you and admire you for being so attached to Buddhism, justice, to respect for human dignity, with submission to karmatic consequences, greatness, I also congratulate you for giving me a great school of spirituality, purity, respect for due process, non-clandestinely, I see that you, as a spiritual prosecutor, handle in an attached manner to the customary laws of due process during a trial, just as you have done with me, I congratulate you also because you do not take justice into your own hands and I also congratulate you for your ability not to judge people, I also congratulate you for being a model Buddhist, I congratulate you because I see you have a great knowledge of the spiritual consequences that it brings when people is subjected to public derision, I also congratulate you because you don’t let be carried away by the ego, nor by low passions, because you make the right decisions, I see you know of karmas, the emails that were sent by you, I’m going to reply them to my Buddhist community in Venezuela so that they see how splendid you are, oh great teacher, most interesting of all is the fact that my mind is clean I have never committed or done anything bad against anyone, with your hand on the heart, are you acting well, great and exalted masters?, almost gods on earth. I am deeply disappointed of you, I wish you the best, I do not hold you a grudge. (…) Anyway, I am going to speak with my lawyer and will talk to the Buddhist authorities in Venezuela to see if you, exalted gods on earth, can violate due process and take justice as if you were Nazis and I am going to spread the emails you have sent me, great masters, it seems you don’t fear the karmas, besides, you act anonymously like an executioner of the Islamic state”
Evidence 2: COMPLICITY WITH VIOLATIONS OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS
International Buddhist Ethics Committee: There is evidence that the Venezuelan government led by President Maduro is carrying out serious violations of human rights, engaging in violent repression against the political opposition, as evidenced by the illegal detention of dozens of people who were part of a campaign calling for a recall referendum of President Maduro, which is a mechanism of the Venezuelan Constitution. This illegal detention has even been accompanied by many cases of torture against such political prisoners (as in the case of Mr. Carrasco), who reported having been physically, sexually and psychologically tortured at the hands of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Sebin).
José Miguel Vivanco (Human Rights Watch): “The detainees detailed brutal, cruel treatment and even torture by the State forces (…) There are such absurd charges as the possession of pamphlets calling for the release of political prisoners or convocations to join the recall referendum, campaigns that are absolutely legal in Venezuela”
International Buddhist Ethics Committee: There are evidences that the Venezuelan government is causing a terrible humanitarian crisis, responding with violent repression against all those who denounce this fact and request for a change. A clear example of how this humanitarian crisis, which is produced by the inadequate governmental response, is causing deaths is not only evident in child malnutrition and food shortages, but is also evidenced by the fact that hospitals in Venezuela are lacking analgesics, antibiotics, essential drugs, incubators, sterile gloves, gauze, alcohol for medical use and cleaning conditions in birthing rooms. The Venezuelan government has emphatically denied this crisis, even intimidating and punishing critics who denounce it, such as doctors and human rights defenders, by beating and illegally detaining those who participate in peaceful protests. Even some of the activists were tried in military courts, violating their civil right to adequate justice. The Venezuelan government must stop the psychological and physical attacks against its political critics.
José Miguel Vivanco (Human Rights Watch): “The Venezuelan government has done more to deny the fact that there is a humanitarian crisis than working to resolve it … Their inaction has contributed to the suffering of many Venezuelans, for whom it is very difficult to access basic health care and an appropriate nutrition (…) Without a strong international pressure, especially from the region, it is highly unlikely that Maduro’s government will take steps to address Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis, and in that case, its fatal consequences will only worsen”
Human Rights Watch: “Regional governments should exert pressure on the government of President Nicolas Maduro in order to take immediate measures that adequately address the deep humanitarian crisis with which the country is faced”
 Human Rights Watch, Crisis humanitaria en Venezuela: La inadecuada y represiva respuesta del gobierno ante la grave escasez de medicinas, insumos y alimentos.