Saturday 19 June 2021

Rights Group Accuses Venezuela of ‘Systematic’ Torture of Political Opponents

Human Rights Watch has released a 62-page report, “Crackdown on Dissent: Brutality, Torture, and Political Persecution in Venezuela,” that accuses Caracas of severe human rights violations against anti-government protesters and political opponents. The report was compiled in collaboration with Penal Forum, a Venezuelan human rights group.

Eighty-eight cases of abuse against 314 people have been reported by HRW. Reportedly, detainees have been tortured with electric shocks, asphyxiation, teargassing, starvation and dehydration, forced feeding of food “deliberately tainted with excrement, cigarette ashes, or insects,” as well as rape and sexual assault.

- Advertisement -

HRW wrote that the aim of this torment “was not to enforce the law or disperse protests but rather to punish people for their perceived political views.”

Police have also violently assaulted and arbitrarily arrested opponents of the government of president Nicolas Maduro government in what HRW called the most severe repression in the South American nation in decades.

The widespread vicious abuses against government opponents in Venezuela, including egregious cases of torture, and the absolute impunity for the attackers suggests government responsibility at the highest levels,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at HRW, in a statement. “These are not isolated abuses or occasional excesses by rogue officers but rather a systematic practice by Venezuelan security forces.”

“High-level Venezuelan officials bear responsibility for the pervasive, serious abuses being committed on their watch,” Vivanco added, as the HRW report stated that Caracas has been complicit in hiding or downplaying these abuses.

- Advertisement -

“Key international leaders should send them a clear-cut message: if the Venezuelan government proves unable or unwilling to hold security forces accountable at home for the abuses, the international community will push for accountability abroad.”

The violence was a consequence of the March dissolution of the anti-Maduro National Assembly by the pro-Maduro Supreme Tribunal of Justice, the nation’s highest judicial authority. Thousands of protesters took to the streets and protests lasted until August. Protesters also railed against corruption, hyperinflation, and food shortages.

While some protesters were seen engaging in violence, such as throwing rocks and molotov cocktails at political opponents, HRW reports that the Maduro government’s suppression “were not part of an effort to suppress violent demonstrations. Instead, the atrocities were inflicted on people in custody or otherwise under the control of security force personnel, or consisted of disproportionate violence and deliberate abuse against people at protests, in the streets, and even in their homes.

An estimated 160 people died during the protests, with an additional 5,000 arrests and 15,000 injuries. The Venezuelan government has denied any abuses, and claims that allegations made by rights groups as well as the US, UN, and EU were “baseless lies.”

“The strategy used against my country from certain centers of power is a clear example of the use of human rights as a political weapon,” Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza told the UN Human Rights Council in September.

Despite mounting unpopularity and accusations of authoritarianism, Maduro and his Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) alliance have retained control of the presidency. The National Assembly, which is still controlled by opposition parties, was stripped of most of its power in favor of the Constituent National Assembly, which is entirely controlled by the GPP as opposition parties boycotted its creation.

- Advertisement -

Article originally appeared on Today Venezuela and is republished here with permission.

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Q24N
Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

Related Articles

Ortega government accuses imprisoned opponents of receiving money from the United States to overthrow him

TODAY NICARAGUA – The Nicaraguan government assures that the imprisoned political...

Nicaragua government assures that detainees violated one of the Ten Commandments

TODAY NICARAGUA – The vice president of Nicaragua and First Lady,...

MOST READ

College of Physicians negotiates donation of a million and a half vaccines against covid-19

QCOSTARICA - This week there could be very good news for the country in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic if the College of...

Construction companies that paid alleged bribes would be disqualified for ten years

QCOSTARICA - If it is proven in a final judgment that they did pay bribes to Conavi officials, several companies could be disqualified from...

Southwest adds yet another route to Liberia, now from Denver

QCOSTARICA - Southwest airlines will add a new route to the Daniel Oduber International Airport, in Liberia, this time connecting with the city of...

Immigration system failure affected passengers at the San Jose airport Monday

QCOSTARICA -  In yet another system-wide failure in the immigration check-out, passengers looking to leave Costa Rica Monday morning by way of the Juan...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 15: 3 & 4 CANNOT circulate

Today, Tuesday, June 15, vehicles with plates ending 3 & 4 CANNOT circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm,...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 19: only “ODDS” can circulate

Today, Saturday, June 19, only vehicles with "ODD" ending plates CAN circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save...

Lack of space on Racsa’s hard drive paralyzed immigration consultation at the airport this Monday

RICO's DIGEST - We've all had this happen, your computer's hard drive is full and your computer crashes. But we are not the Radiográfica...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 16: 5 & 6 CANNOT circulate

Today, Wednesday, June 16, vehicles with plates ending 5 & 6 CANNOT circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm,...

Diseases, weather and low prices hit the orange sector in Costa Rica

HQ - The appearance of pests and diseases, in particular the 'dragón amarillo' (yellow dragon), the impact of the weather and a sharp drop...

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST!

Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Article originally appeared on Today Venezuela and is republished here with permission.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.