South America

Venezuela rejects U.N. report detailing rights abuses, torture allegations

GENEVA — Venezuela’s authorities on Monday rejected a report by unbiased consultants working with the United Nations’ high human rights physique who alleged President Nicolás Maduro had personally ordered the detention of presidency opponents, who endured electrical shocks, asphyxiation and different merciless acts whereas in custody.

Hector Fixed Rosales, Venezuela’s ambassador in Geneva, rejected the report launched final week by the consultants working for the U.N.’s Human Rights Council as a “pseudo report” that masked “obscure pursuits” against the South American nation. The federal government had not beforehand responded to the report — the third in a sequence from the council’s fact-finding mission on Venezuela.

Chatting with the council, Fixed blasted the “horrible politicization” of the 47-member-state physique, saying the report “this time goes past the boundaries of the unspeakable, incorporating direct accusations in opposition to the president and different excessive authorities of my nation.”

The newest report revealed new particulars on a string of rights violations — together with doable crimes in opposition to humanity — below Maduro’s tenure, and offered accusations in opposition to members of his interior circle, equivalent to ruling get together chief Diosdado Cabello.

It additionally mentioned Maduro had ordered torture in some circumstances, however offered no particulars of particular cases. The very fact-finding mission’s chief, Marta Valiñas, informed The Related Press final week that such a conclusion was reached primarily based on “on totally different however constant testimonies.”

The proof gathered by the U.N.-backed consultants might in the future be utilized by the Worldwide Legal Courtroom or by any nation that may apply “common jurisdiction” to prosecute alleged crimes in opposition to humanity.

The mission was established in 2019, and its mandate was later prolonged till this month. The council has not but voted on extending the work of the mission, whose two earlier experiences highlighted steps that the Venezuelan authorities has taken to repress any actual or perceived opposition.

The sooner experiences raised issues about Venezuela’s judicial system and detailed crimes like extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions and different acts carried out by Venezuelan authorities since 2014, the 12 months after Maduro took workplace following the dying of President Hugo Chavez, and a fancy disaster took maintain within the nation.

Venezuela’s Bolivarian Nationwide Intelligence Service utilized ways like beatings, electrical shocks, asphyxiation with plastic baggage and stress positions, in addition to threats to kill and rape detainees, in accordance with the newest report. The principle targets included opposition leaders, college students, journalists and folks working for nongovernmental organizations, it mentioned.

Maduro’s authorities has not allowed the U.N.-backed consultants to enter Venezuela or responded to over 20 letters they despatched to authorities.

Western nations expressed help for the mission, with European Union Ambassador Lotte Knudsen saying the bloc was “critically involved in regards to the protracted human rights disaster in Venezuela and the reported stunning human rights violations by state mechanisms and officers within the context of political repression and anti-crime operations.”

Nations like Russia, Iran, Cuba and Nicaragua got here to the protection of Maduro’s authorities.

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