December 21, 2014
UN rights office calls for an investigation and political dialogue
GENEVA — The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) yesterday announced its deep concern about the violence in Venezuela and called upon the government and the opposition to engage in political dialogue to resolve the current crisis.
After deploring the violence, OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville said yesterday that “we have also received worrying reports of intimidation of journalists, some of whom have had their equipment seized, as well as reports that some local and international journalists were attacked while covering the protests,” Colville told reporters in Geneva.
“In addition, some protesters have reportedly been detained and may be prosecuted on terrorism charges. It has also been reported that some protesters, including minors, are being denied contact with family or lawyers,” he added.
Furthemore, the Regional Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in South America, Amérigo Incalcaterra, called upon the government to ensure the right of peaceful assembly and protest, and highlighted that violent demonstrations were not the proper means to claim the exercise of human rights.
Incalcaterra also called for a full and prompt investigation into th perpetrators of the three reported deaths in Wednesday’s violence and he also called for all detainees to be promptly brought before justice in order to decide on the lawfulness of their detention or to order their release.
Mr Colville concluded, by saying that “We are especially concerned at reports of attacks on demonstrators by armed groups acting with impunity.
“We are also concerned that this situation could trigger further outbreaks of violence and that a cycle of violence may take place. We call on all parties in Venezuela to engage in peaceful dialogue to find a way through this crisis.”