Statement at the 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council
We thank the Fact-Finding Mission for this timely update, which ensures that the human rights situation in Venezuela continues to be promptly documented. We welcome more frequent spaces for dialogue to ensure ongoing independent monitoring of the implementation of previous recommendations.
Despite repeated condemnation by international organizations and institutions, extrajudicial executions continue in Venezuela. We are deeply concerned by the recent events in Las Vegas, Caracas, where at least 650 agents of Venezuelan security forces were deployed due to alleged clashes between gangs and police. At least 14 people were killed during the operation. Human rights organizations strongly refute that the deaths were the result of the confrontation. Evidence and witness testimony shows that they were mostly extrajudicial executions.
In addition, the civic space situation continues to deteriorate. Amid the pandemic, protests did not stop. Local organisations documented 412 incidents in which protesters were repressed by public security forces and paramilitary groups in 2020. At least 415 people were detained and 150 wounded. This reinforces the pattern of repression and excessive use of force against those who take to the streets to demand their rights.
Criminalizacion of human rights defenders continue. We are deeply concerned about the detention of activists from Azul Positivo, a humanitarian organisation that has been providing humanitarian aid to vulnerable communities in Zulia, particularly people living with HIV/AIDS.
Accountability and an end to impunity is key to protecting those on the ground. We ask the FFM: what should be the priorities of member states of this Council in combatting impunity?
Civic space in Venezuela is rated as Repressed by the CIVICUS Monitor