UN calls for human rights investigation in Venezuela

A UN report is calling for the Venezuelan government to bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice. The UN human rights chief said “impunity must end” in the crisis-stricken country.

The United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday called for an internal investigation into human rights violations in Venezuela and called on the government to bring perpetrators to justice it also said it was sending its report to the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose prosecutor opened a preliminary investigation in February.

The U.N. report cited “credible, shocking” accounts of extrajudicial killings of young men during crime-fighting operations in poor neighbourhoods conducted without arrest warrants. Security forces would tamper with the scene so that there appeared to have been an exchange of fire, it said.

There was no immediate response from the government of President Nicolas Maduro to the report.

“The failure to hold security forces accountable for such serious human rights violations suggests that the rule of law is virtually absent in Venezuela,” said Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, as the UN presented the report.

Venezuela has been experiencing a political and economic crisis since 2012 under the rule of Hugo Chavez, and it has continued with current president Nicolas Maduro.

Critics say Maduro has used increasingly authoritarian tactics as the OPEC nation’s economy has spiralled deeper into recession and hyperinflation, fuelling discontent and prompting hundreds of thousands to emigrate in the past year.

About 125 people died in anti-government protests last year.

Security forces were allegedly responsible for killing at least 46 of them, U.N. rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a news briefing, adding: “Evidence has reportedly disappeared from case files.”

The president has tried to regain the trust of the country since he was reelected in May and has promised to work for reconciliation. He has freed dozens of political prisoners in an attempt to “overcome the wounds” of the protests against him.

Read More:  Venezuela’s Sham of an Election – The Crisis Deepens



Source: DW, United Nations

Abhinav Kaushal
The Kootneeti Latin America Team

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