Published: Sun, July 07, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

United Nations right chief urges Venezuela to address human rights violations

United Nations right chief urges Venezuela to address human rights violations

If the situation in the South American country does not improve, the "unprecedented" outflow of Venezuelan migrants and refugees will continue, and "the living conditions of those who remain will worsen", said Thursday's report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights office.

The Thursday report issued by United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet accused the Venezuela government of using a strategy of instilling fear in its population to retain power and removing opponents with a "shocking" number of alleged extrajudicial killings.

Venezuela Foreign ministry appreciates, "the recognition by the High Commissioner for Human Rights that the United States economic sanctions aggravate the economic crisis and violate human rights", according to an official.

The Venezuelan representative at the 41st session of the Human Rights Council, Deputy Foreign Minister William Castillo, underscored that the document lacks impartiality by ignoring the information provided to Bachelet on the progress of social policies and the protection of the people promoted by the Government.

The UN rights office described the incidence of alleged extrajudicial killings by security forces in the country as "shockingly high". They broke into houses, took belongings, planted drugs and arms on their victims, assaulted women and girls, sometimes stripping them naked.

Caracas has said that about 5,287 people died last year when they refused to be detained by officers, and that this has been the case for a further 1,569 through the middle of May this year.

The UN report came after former Venezuela spy chief Manuel Cristopher Figuera told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Maduro's administration was a "criminal enterprise".

"These killings warrant immediate investigation to ensure accountability of perpetrators and guarantees of non-recurrence".

Juan Guaido, leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly legislature, has since declared himself president of Venezuela.

Venezuela accused US-led sanctions has led to negative impacts on debt refinancing, food and medicinal imports, lost billions of dollars in oil assets as the country continues to suffer from one of its biggest economic crisis. Actually, 460 of 558 interviews were conducted outside Venezuela, accounting for 82 percent of the opinions expressed, ' Castillo assured in Vienna. "We should all be able to agree that all Venezuelans deserve a better life, free from fear and with access to adequate food, water, healthcare, housing and all other basic human needs", Bachelet said.

The report concluded that "there are reasonable grounds to believe that grave violations of economic and social rights, including the rights to food and health, have been committed in Venezuela".

The UN estimates that more than seven million Venezuelans are in need of urgent humanitarian aid.

"A Catholic priest in Caracas said to me: 'This is not about politics, but about the suffering of the people.' This report too is not about politics, geopolitics, worldwide relations or anything other than being about the human rights to which every Venezuelan is entitled", she added.

She added that social programmes had been used "as an instrument of social control".

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