The Presidential Commissioner for Human Rights and Victims’ Services, Humberto Prado, presented the first six-monthly report on the activities of the Presidential Commission for Human Rights and Victims’ Services, from December 2019 to date.
“In a country like Venezuela, where the forces of the Nicolás Maduro regime violate the fundamental rights of citizens every day and throughout the country, it was necessary to have an interim government body to watch over the human rights of Venezuelans, both internationally and nationally,” Prado said.
He indicated that, since the Commission’s inception in August 2019, various actions have been carried out in defense of human rights and reporting the facts to international bodies, such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Frontline Defenders, Humans Rights Watch, Fact Finding Mission among others.
In this sense, the Commissioner highlighted that “every public agency is obliged to account for its management to society.” Based on this premise, the Presidential Commission for Human Rights carried out the 180-day management report, with qualitative and quantitative results of the actions carried out before different international bodies and their highest representatives for the defense of the rights of Venezuelans.
From December 2019 to June 2020, the Commission registered more than 364 complaints from persons who were victims of various violations of fundamental rights, inside and outside Venezuela, with arbitrary detentions being one of the most recurrent crimes. During this period, 116 urgent appeals were issued, 100 communiqués were issued to the public, and 185 press releases were issued, all of which recorded the worrisome situation of human rights in Venezuela.
The Commission has produced 13 special reports on the persecution of congressmen, the deterioration of the independence of the Judiciary, and the 23 recommendations of the OHCHR with respect to Venezuela, in addition to 8 reports denouncing the decline of public powers, harassment of members of the press, and the human rights of vulnerable groups.
In February, the Commission delivered the report on the situation of human rights in 2019 to the members of the IACHR in Cúcuta. Interviews have also been conducted with 40 citizens, who have been victims of various transgressions of their rights.
During this period, the cases of human rights violations were arbitrary detentions, politically motivated persecution, and harassment of press and health workers, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. There were also violations of the rights of vulnerable groups (women, children, older adults, indigenous communities and LGBT), the health crisis, and extrajudicial executions, because the internal justice system (TSJ) and institutional scaffolding has not been able to meet the requirements in this area.
The Commission has also concentrated its efforts on working with 40 national and international protection organizations, such as the Venezuelan Confederation of the Deaf (CONSORVEN), SOS Orinoco, Doctors United for Venezuela, Venezuelan Refugees, and the Organization of American States. They have also met with Venezuelan embassies in countries such as Spain, Brazil, Peru, France and the United States.
Finally, Commissioner Humberto Prado reiterated that as long as the context of usurpation persists and the Interim Government continues to work for the restoration of democracy and the rule of law, the Presidential Commission for Human Rights and Attention to Victims will continue to deploy the necessary measures so that, despite the difficulties, the fundamental rights of all Venezuelans can be protected as much as possible.