The responsibility for human rights violations in Venezuela “lies at the highest level of government,” the United Nations human rights office has said.
Venezuelan security forces have wielded excessive force to suppress protests, killing dozens, and have arbitrarily detained 5,000 people since April, including 1,000 still in custody, the team’s analysis found.
It said it had investigated 124 deaths in connection with demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro’s government, and found 46 attributable to security forces and 27 to pro-government armed groups, with the rest unclear.
The team said violations included “house raids, torture and ill-treatment of those detained in connection with the protests.”
“We are concerned that the situation in Venezuela is escalating and these human rights violations show no signs of abating,” UN human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said in a statement: “These violations have occurred amid the breakdown of the rule of law in Venezuela, with constant attacks by the Government against the National Assembly and the Attorney-General’s Office.”
“The responsibility for the human rights violations we are recording lies at the highest levels of Government,” he added.
Despite growing international criticism, Mr Maduro has remained firm in pressing the constitutional assembly forward in executing his priorities.