The report not only mentions the repression and the excessive use of force by the state security forces; it also refers to torture, ill-treatment, impunity, lack of judicial oversight, and the increasingly precarious situation with regard to healthcare and food.
The report is entitled Violations of Human Rights in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and prompted United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, to ask the International Criminal Court to investigate the abuses that are currently taking place in Venezuela.
The representative of the human rights office also noted that it is evident that the rule of law “is virtually absent” in the South American country.
The 71-page document reveals the main violations perpetrated by the Maduro regime, which have been completely ignored by the nation’s top prosecutor (and close Maduro ally), Tarek William Saab.
Violations of the freedom of peaceful assembly: The report highlights that after the increase in protests, the Maduro regime has sought to prevent any kind of public demonstration. It highlights constant violations by state security forces, including the arbitrary arrest of political opponents. It also references the Chavista law against hate, which is used as a broad pretext to further limit the right of peaceful assembly.
Impunity: The document outlines grievous “violations of the rights to truth and justice for the relatives of the people killed during the protests.” At this point, Tarek William Saab is directly responsible for the decrease in investigations thereof.
“Since a new Attorney General has assumed office on August 5, 2017, the pace of investigations has drastically decreased, while the level of active participation on the part of prosecutors has also decreased significantly. A new internal policy, according to which any investigation related to a security agent must be personally approved by the Attorney General, introduced concerns about the loss of prosecutorial independence. In some cases, prosecutors were dismissed from cases for simply investigating.”
Extrajudicial executions: The report also discusses the extrajudicial executions that have arisen in the wake of the implementation of a so-called People’s Liberation Operations (OLP).
The document also makes specific mention of the death of Captain Óscar Pérez, who in front of the whole world, was killed in an operation with the approval of officials of the GNB, FAES, PNB, CONAS and DGCIM.
“The information compiled by the OHCHR indicates that, although the group had initiated negotiations with the GNB commanders to surrender, the agents received counter-orders from the Operational Strategic Command that required them to resort to lethal force, and subsequently executed all members of the GNB grou,” says the document.
Arbitrary arrests and torture: This is not the first time that the OHCHR has condemned the Maduro regime for the arbitrary arrests of innocent people, as well as the torture and ill-treatment perpetrated by the Maduro regime.
“The documented acts of ill-treatment and torture included electric shocks, heavy beatings, for example, with metal pipes and baseball bats, rapes and other forms of sexual violence, asphyxiation with plastic bags and chemicals, mock executions, and deprivation of water. The detainees were also subjected to cold temperatures and/or constant electric light, were handcuffed and/or blindfolded for long periods of time, and received death threats and insults,” the document said.
Inadequate food and healthcare: The report lambastes the regime for the daily humanitarian crisis faced by Venezuelans, which includes severe shortages of food and medicine.
“The lack of food, combined with its high cost, has forced Venezuelan families to change their eating habits and implement new strategies to secure their livelihood. Venezuelans must now line up for many hours to buy food at prices controlled by the state, which is generally offered sporadically and in limited quantities; or be a beneficiary of a government social program, or acquire products in the supermarkets or in the bachaqueros (black market) at hyperinflated prices,” states the report.
The International Criminal Court is likely to investigate these matters, as the international community continues to consider how to liberate the Venezuelan people from the dictatorship of the Maduro regime.
Recently elected Colombian President Ivan Duque has been one of the strongest voices in condemning the Maduro regime, and has promised to file lawsuits at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights against the Venezuelan regime.