This Tuesday, within the framework of the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, gave an oral update of the report on the situation of human rights in Venezuela.
The High Commissioner began her address by referring to the fact that, since her last oral update in September last year, “political tensions and acts of violence by security forces and government supporters against opposition parliamentarians continue”. Likewise, Bachelet made special mention of the case of Congressman Gilber Caro and Congressman Ismael León: “Congressman Caro continues to be deprived of his liberty without the place of his arrest being officially known. Likewise, Congressman Ismael León was arrested and is today under house arrest”.
For his part, the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, Miguel Pizarro, stated: “Today our report is presented in the same point as that of North Korea’s, which gives us an idea of the paradigm with which the violation of human rights in Venezuela is compared.
During the oral update, the systematic violation of human rights of journalists, human rights defenders, student and union leaders was pointed out, as well as the persecution of NGOs, the use of hate speech, and the actions of irregular, collective and paramilitary groups, under the protection of the authorities, against peaceful demonstrations . “Attacks are often accompanied by rhetoric that stigmatizes, exposes and discredits the victims and justifies violence,” said the High Commissioner.
On the occasion of the mention of the World Food Program survey, which shows that 2.3 million people are severely food insecure and 7 million are moderately food insecure, Commissioner Pizarro reiterated that this is “a mention of the Complex Humanitarian Emergency and it is an x-ray of the new level of severity, as a third of the population needs humanitarian assistance”.
“He also referred to the migration crisis and how the flow of refugees from the region continues to increase as a result of the economic and political collapse of Nicolás Maduro’s regime model, a situation that affects neighboring countries,” the Commissioner said.
The High Commissioner reported that her “Office also documented aggressions against political opponents, demonstrators and journalists, without the security forces taking action. On February 11th, at least 12 journalists covering the arrival of Juan Guaidó were attacked, while on February 29th, members of armed groups attacked demonstrators and journalists who gathered at a political event in Lara”.
To conclude, Commissioner Miguel Pizarro dedicated a few words to recognize the work of civil society in the protection of human rights: “It is important to recognize the work of the NGOs, victims, and family members who continue to do all the advocacy and effort so that these reports continue to tell the reality of Venezuela.