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Venezuala

    May 02, 2019

    At least four people have been killed, more than 200 injured and 205 arrested during state repression of protests across Venezuela since 30 April, Amnesty International has confirmed.

    “The security forces under the command of Nicolás Maduro and the armed civilian groups that support him insist on repressing the protests by people demanding a way out of the serious political and human rights crisis that has plagued the country for several years,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “The crimes under international law that they are committing add further weight to the already bulging dossier to be investigated under international justice systems. Maduro must put an immediate end to his policy of repression.”

    Amnesty International has been documenting the grave human rights violations and crimes under international law that have taken place in Venezuela since the crisis worsened in January 2019. The organization has documented extrajudicial executions, unlawful use of lethal force, arbitrary mass arrests and ill-treatment of people who speak out against Maduro’s government.

    March 12, 2019

    Luis Carlos Díaz, a Venezuelan journalist and defender of digital rights and freedom of expression, was arrested in Caracas on the afternoon of Monday, 11 March, by the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN) and accused of alleged “cyber-crimes”.

    “Luis Carlos Díaz has been detained solely because of his widely respected work covering the Venezuelan people’s demands to live in dignity in their country and for his denunciations of the authorities’ response to the serious human rights crisis that they are experiencing. He is a prisoner of conscience and we demand his immediate and unconditional release,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    Last weekend, senior officials under the command of Nicolás Maduro accused Luis Carlos Díaz of being part of a “conspiracy” that led to a power outage that has affected the country for more than five days, presenting a manipulated video where they used past statements he had made about internet service outages as if he were talking about the current power cuts.

    February 20, 2019

    Venezuelan security forces under the command of Nicolás Maduro executed and used excessive force against people, and arbitrarily detained hundreds of others, including teenagers, in an escalation of their policy of repression as a means of controlling the people of Venezuela and particularly to punish residents of impoverished neighborhoods that decided to protest between 21 and 25 January 2019, said Amnesty International today.

    “The authorities under Nicolás Maduro are trying to use fear and punishment to impose a repulsive strategy of social control against those who demand change. His government is attacking the most impoverished people that it claims to defend, but instead it murders, detains and threatens them,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    Venezuela has suffered a major crisis of massive human rights violations for years, with shortages of food, medicines, hyperinflation, violence and political repression forcing more than three million people to flee the country since 2015.

    February 19, 2019

    The human rights crisis that has engulfed Venezuela for the past few years has shattered the lives of millions of people. Here’s what you need to know:

    1 - EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE

    Much of the current unrest in Venezuela can be traced back to 29 March 2017, when the Supreme Court of Justice - backed by President Nicolás Maduro - moved to take over the National Assembly, where the opposition holds a majority. This triggered protests that were repressed by the Maduro administration with the unlawful and disproportionate use of force. Between April and July 2017, more than 120 people were killed, around 1,958 were injured and more than 5,000 were detained amid mass protests.

    2 - MASS PROTESTS

    In 2018 there were 12,715 protests across the country, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict. These have continued in 2019 after President of the National Assembly Juan Guaidó called for mass demonstrations against Maduro.

    January 31, 2019

    In response to reports of the detention of at least 11 journalists in Venezuela this week, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:

    “The detention of journalists is a flagrant and deeply concerning attack on freedom of expression and the right to truth, in a vain attempt to prevent the world from seeing the massive human rights violations that the Venezuelan authorities are committing.”

    “A free press is fundamental for the defence of human rights in any country in the world. The Venezuelan authorities must guarantee that journalists are able to work in safe conditions without fear of reprisal, immediately order the unconditional release of all members of the press who remain in detention and refrain from deporting foreign journalists covering the ongoing protests and institutional crisis.”

    For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

     

    Read more:

    December 21, 2018
    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 210/18 HERE

    Poster via Pinterest

    The Pemón Indigenous communities in the Canaima National Park (western Venezuela) were the target of a violent attack during a two-day military operation. The operation lacked justification. The communities fear for their safety in the context of these operations and the militarization of their ancestral territory ordered by the national government.

    September 27, 2018

    Today, 27 September, the United Nations’ Human Rights Council (HRC) passed a resolution to address the unprecedented human rights crisis unfolding in Venezuela. Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Kumi Naidoo, welcomed the resolution:

    “Venezuela is seeing one of the worst human rights crises the Americas has seen in decades. Millions of people are fleeing a country were violations to the rights of food, health, life and many other basic human rights are being perpetrated by state agents daily, with no hope for justice, truth and reparation for victims.”

    “In light of the gravity of the human rights situation in Venezuela and the lack of options for justice in the country, the recent decision by the Human Rights Council to address this dramatic situation and support the victims could not be more timely or necessary. Seeing a significant majority of Latin America and the Caribbean States supporting this resolution is also encouraging.”

    September 17, 2018

    The Venezuelan state is using lethal force with intent to kill against the most vulnerable and socially excluded people in the country. It is violating their rights and treating them like criminals because of the circumstances in which they live, when it should be implementing preventive crime control policies that are in line with international human rights standards, said Amnesty International in a report published today.

    “The government of President Maduro should guarantee the right to life, instead of taking the lives of the country's young people. All young people living in poverty should have equal opportunities for their future, and not live with the fear that the police or military see them as enemies that must be eradicated,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    September 10, 2018

    Amnesty International UK Press Release

    “Some guards treat us like animals” a man held in the Rio Canario police cells

    People fleeing to the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao following the spiralling crisis, rising violence, and unrest in Venezuela are facing “appalling” conditions, detention and deportation, a new report from Amnesty International said today (9 September).

    The 52-page report - Detained and Deported: Venezuelans denied protection in Curaçao - shows how refugees and asylum-seekers have been unable to apply for international protection in Curaçao since July 2017, and instead have been detained or deported from the island.

    Curaçao is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the “active removal strategy”, implemented by the government last year has led to the deportation of over 1,200 Venezuelans in 2017 and almost 400 between January and April this year.

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    August 11, 2017

    The arrest of four officials from the opposition in Venezuela, the removal from office of a further 11 and the issuing of arrest warrants against another five, demonstrates the Maduro administration’s tightening stranglehold on any form of dissent, taking repression to a frightening new level, said Amnesty International.

    “By removing opposition officials from their posts for no legitimate reason, the Maduro administration is crossing a very delicate line,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “The justice system should never be abused to silence the opposition, particularly those who have been elected to office.”

    “First they came for those taking to the streets, then for those who represent them in office. How much further is the Venezuelan government willing to go in order to silence those who think differently? The answer is terrifying,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas.

    August 01, 2017
      The dramatic increase in illegal use of force, scores of arbitrary detentions and the killing of at least 10 people, among other worrying attacks against the people of Venezuela recorded this weekend, confirm a consistent pattern of deteriorating human rights in the country, said Amnesty International.   “President Maduro and his government appear to be living in a parallel universe,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.   “The authorities cannot continue to ignore the tension and violence and should respond to the urgent needs of the entire population, including those who do not agree with the government.”   “The use of lethal force in Venezuela must stop immediately. The authorities must carry out impartial investigations in civil courts into all acts of violence, regardless of who is responsible. Immediate action must be taken to put an end to arbitrary detentions, killings and other serious human rights violations.”  
    August 01, 2017
      The seizure of two opposition leaders in Caracas late last night is a telling sign that the Maduro administration is desperate to silence all forms of criticism as the political and humanitarian crisis in the country approaches breaking point, Amnesty International said.   “The Maduro administration is sending a terrifying message to all people in Venezuela: dissent will not be tolerated in any form,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.   In the early hours of the morning, officers from the Venezuelan intelligence services took Leopoldo López, leader of the opposition party Voluntad Popular, and Antonio Ledezma, the mayor of Caracas from their homes without a warrant. Both men had been transferred to house arrest on health grounds.   “The clock is ticking fast and time is running out for authorities in Venezuela to make a decisive U-turn when it comes to their approach to free expression. The alternative is simply too frightening.”  
    July 28, 2017
      The security plan announced ahead of the elections for the Constituent Assembly in Venezuela this Sunday is laying the groundwork for a new wave of mass human rights violations, said Amnesty International.   “Venezuela's ban on protests will do nothing but worsen an already incredibly volatile situation,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.    “Instead of trying to silence the increasing popular anger, authorities must find workable solutions to people's very reasonable demands. Continuing to punish dissenting voices will only sink the country into an even deeper crisis."   The Venezuelan government’s security plan also includes provisions – such as the deployment of military personnel and experts to deal with electoral and military crimes – which are likely to facilitate a new wave of human rights violations.   Since protests began on 4 April, more than 100 people have been killed and more than 1,400 injured, according to official sources.  
    June 27, 2017
    Rosmit Mantilla

    “I often woke up believing my strength was running out, believing I couldn’t keep going, and then I received photographs of Amnesty International human rights activists from all over the world requesting my freedom, respect for justice and for life. Infinite thanks, friends—without you I wouldn’t be here!”

    These personal words of thanks for your support came from Rosmit Mantilla during his struggle to be freed from a Venezuelan jail. Rosmit is a prominent Member of Parliament, human rights defender and former prisoner of conscience. He is an activist for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) and a member of the opposition party Voluntad Popular. He was freed in November following two years in prison.

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