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AFP
September 10, 2019

UN rights chief slams Venezuela over killings, bid to criminalise NGOs

World

AFP
September 10, 2019

GENEVA: The UN human rights chief on Monday slammed continued serious violations in Venezuela, including extrajudicial executions and torture, and voiced concern over moves to criminalise some domestic rights groups.

Speaking before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Michelle Bachelet detailed a range of ongoing abuses in Venezuela and once again pointed a finger at Venezuela´s police special forces (FAES). In a damning report in July, she had called on Caracas to “dissolve” an organisation suspected of carrying out numerous extrajudicial executions.

But on Monday she said her office had continued to document suspected extrajudicial killings by FAES, pointing out that the NGO Victim´s Monitor had identified 57 cases of presumed FAES executions in Caracas in July alone. “My office has not received information regarding measures taken to implement the recommendation made in my report to dissolve the FAES and prevent extrajudicial executions,” Bachelet said. “On the contrary, the FAES have received support from the highest level of government. In her update on the Venezuela situation, Bachelet also cited a range of other grave rights violations in the country, which is caught in an economic crisis and a political standoff between President Nicolas Maduro´s government and National Assembly leader Juan Guaido. The oil-rich country suffers from hyperinflation and shortages of basic goods from food to medicine, a crisis that has forced some 3.6 million people to flee the country since 2016. The UN rights chief reiterated her criticism of US sanctions targeting Venezuela, warning that they were exacerbating the suffering of an already vulnerable population. She hailed some advances, after Venezuelan authorities recently released 83 people and provided access to visit a number of others.

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