HAVANA TIMES – Amnesty International on Tuesday said the Venezuelan government may have committed crimes against humanity and called for it to be taken before “an independent and impartial judicial body.”
“Selective extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions, and deaths and injuries caused by the excessive use of force by [President] Nicolas Maduro’s government as part of a systematic and widespread policy of repression since at least 2017 may constitute crimes against humanity,” the rights group said in a statement based on a new report.
The government is repressing opponents or perceived opponents “simply because they are protesting, for which Nicolas Maduro’s government must be held accountable before the international justice system,” Amnesty’s Americas director Erika Guevara-Rosas said.
During massive anti-government protests from 21 to 25 January this year, at least 47 people were shot dead in 12 of the country’s 23 states, according to Amnesty.
At least 33 of them were killed by state security forces and six by third parties acting with the approval of the authorities. More than
900 people were arbitrarily detained.
The events during those five days reflect a policy of repression documented by Amnesty since 2014, which includes cruel and inhumane treatment and torture, the rights group said.
Amnesty has also denounced more than 8,000 extrajudicial executions by the security forces between 2015 and 2017.
Amnesty urged the UN Human Rights Council to establish a commission of inquiry and called for “the activation of universal jurisdiction by countries genuinely concerned about the situation in the country.”