Venezuela: ‘A worrying destabilizing factor in the region’, Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

© UNHCR/Siegfried Modola Venezuelan refugees and migrants cross the Simon Bolivar Bridge into Colombia, one of seven legal entry points on the Colombia-Venezuela border.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Expressing deep concern at the “magnitude and gravity of the human rights impact” of Venezuela’s current crisis, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on Wednesday that the country had become “a worrying destabilizing factor in the region.”

Amid a protracted crisis from a faltering economy, political instability and violent anti-Government demonstrations, a technical team of five OHCHR staff members are currently touring the country, which rights chief Michelle Bachelet, described as “a positive first step”.

She highlighted “dramatically” deteriorating “economic and social rights”, exacerbated by the recent electricity blackout and expressed concern about the “continued criminalization of peaceful protest and dissent”.

The UN rights chief cited reports of numerous violations and abuses by security forces and pro-Government armed groups, including the excessive use of force, killings, arbitrary detentions, torture, threats and intimidation.

She said her Office was continuing to investigate reports of “possible extrajudicial executions by security forces”, naming the Special Actions Force or FAES, as reportedly responsible for killing “at least 205 persons. A further 37 were reportedly killed in the course of January 2019 in Caracas”, she added.

“It appears that some of these killings have followed a similar pattern. They take place during illegal house raids carried out by the FAES, which subsequently reports the death as resulting from an armed confrontation – although witnesses report the victims were unarmed,” said Ms. Bachelet.

I am also concerned about increasing restrictions on freedom of expression and of the press in Venezuela,” she said, “and the allegations that the authorities have arbitrarily used the law against hatred, adopted in November 2017, to prosecute journalists, opposition leaders and anyone expressing dissenting opinions.”

Divisions are exacerbating an already critical situation” the rights chief said, arguing that there was “a need for common agreement on a political solution by all stakeholders, with actions to improve a wide range of urgent human rights issues. I call on the authorities to take steps to demonstrate their real commitment to addressing the many challenging issues reported across the country.”

Minimal progress on accountability in Sri Lanka

Turning to Sri Lanka, Ms. Bachelet said that despite progress on some issues, “there has been minimal progress on accountability” including on setting up a special judicial mechanism to deal with the worst crimes committed during the 2009 conflict between the Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the north-east of the country.

“Continuing impunity risks fuelling communal or inter-ethnic violence, and instability”, she spelled out, calling for the establishment of an independent Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a vetting process to remove officers with questionable human rights records.

“This Council continues to have an essential role in accompanying the Government and people of Sri Lanka in their journey towards realizing the dignity, and rights of all members of society, irrespective of their sex, ethnic origin or belief”, she concluded.

A ‘glimmer of hope’ in Yemen’s ‘dire situation’

On Yemen, Ms. Bachelet noted that while the fragile ceasefire in Hudaydah presents “a glimmer of hope”, the situation across the rest of the country is “dire’.

More than 24 million people need aid, with 14.3 million in acute need, she told the Council. Moreover, basic resources have become “a luxury that few can afford”.

“Salaries of teachers, doctors, nurses and other public employees have gone unpaid for years” she stressed.

Meanwhile, “periodic airstrikes, shelling and landmines continue to kill and maim civilians” and children continue to be conscripted or enlisted into armed forces or groups, she added.

The UN rights chief expressed particular concern about a recent escalation of hostilities in Hajjah governorate, where preliminary reports indicate that 22 people were killed earlier this month and thousands of families displaced.

“All States, including those not involved in the armed conflict, have the obligation to take measures to ensure that parties to a conflict respect the Conventions”, she stated, calling “conditioning, limiting or refusing arms transfers” one such measure.         

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

COP21 Breaking News_10 December:#ParisAgreement: Points that remain in suspense

MEPs want to ensure sufficient funding for Connecting Europe’s future

This Netherlands football stadium creates its own energy and stores it in electric car batteries

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

Commuters in these cities spend more than 8 days a year stuck in traffic

Energy Union: EU’s effort towards a cleaner climate with integrated energy market

Here are 3 alternative visions for the future of work

Is the European Banking Union an impossible task?

Scotland and First Minister Salmond enter the most challenging battlefield for independence: Europe

This heroic doctor is waging war on rape and the stigma around it

“I believe that startups are for grown-up men, those, who have already achieved something “

Trump and Brexit: After the social whys the political whereto

Central African Republic: UN chief hails signing of new peace agreement

Main results of G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina

In Gaza, UN envoy urges Israel, Palestinian factions to step back from brink of a war that ‘everybody will lose’

‘Stop and listen’ to victims of terrorism, UN chief urges in message marking international day

He died so I could live: UN peacekeeper pays tribute to fallen colleague

Costa Coffee products (Copyright: Costa Coffee; Source: Costa Coffee website, Press area)

The start of the “Caffeine rush”: Coca-Cola acquires Costa Coffee days after Nestlé-Starbucks deal

A call for a new crop of innovators

“At the Environment Assembly citizens expect clean, not hot air”, the Head of UN Environment in Europe underscores in a Sting Exclusive

European Business Summit 2013: Where Business and Politics shape the future

It’s time for cybersecurity to go pro bono

“America first” policy goes against EU-US partnership, say MEPs

Why Eurozone urgently needs the ECB to print and distribute at least €500 billion

Online platforms required by law to be more transparent with EU businesses

Norway is known for its cold weather – but it’s been in the grip of a severe heatwave

3 ways activists are being targeted by cyberattacks

New state aid rules: Commission increases national support to farmers up to €25,000

The hidden cost of the electric car boom – child labour

Climate Change : An Already Health Emergency

VW emissions scandal: EU unable to protect its consumers against large multinationals

Libya: Attack on foreign ministry, an attack on all Libyans, stresses UN envoy

The Banking Union divides deeply the European Union

Why medicine is relevant to the battle against climate change

How Europe beat the financial crisis – and the risks it still faces

New European frontiers for renewable energy development

UNICEF delivers medical supplies to Gaza in wake of deadly protests

The world’s e-waste is a huge problem. It’s also a golden opportunity

Predatory labour taxation not an issue for the Commission

Security Council renews mandates of UN force monitoring separation area between Israel and Syria; AU-UN hybrid mission in Darfur

New identity cards deliver recognition and protection for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Draghi sees inflationary bubbles

Violent disorder is on the rise. Is inequality to blame?

Multilateralism: The only path to address the world’s troubles, signals Guterres

Bundesbank’s President Weidmann criticises France and the EU. Credibility at risk?

EU unfolds strategy on the Egypt question

GSMA outlines new developments for Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is driving Globalization 4.0

EU to scrutinise foreign direct investment more closely

Employers’ organizations work towards improving the enabling environment for sustainable enterprises

Africa-Europe Alliance: first projects kicked off just three months after launch

Reinforcing EU border security: Visa-exempt travelers will be pre-screened

Sub10 Systems @ MWC14: Bridging the Ethernet of the Future

ECB: The bastion of effective and equitable Europeanism keeps up quantitative easing

Our present and future tax payments usurped by banks

UN welcomes Angola’s repeal of anti-gay law, and ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation

China is a renewable energy champion. But it’s time for a new approach

Who will win the AI race? If countries work together, then the answer could be all of us

Eurozone: Avoiding a new Greek accident

The Ultimate Career Choice: General Practice Specialist

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s