Venezuela: UN concerned at renewed violence, use of force
New York, May 10 (IBNS): The United Nations human rights office on Friday voiced concern at renewed violence in Venezuela, and at the reported excessive use of force by the authorities in response to protests.
According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Venezuelan troops rounded up more than 200 youth movement protesters who had been camping peacefully outside the UN Development Programme (UNDP) offices in Caracas and other parts of the city on Wednesday night and early Thursday.
Rupert Colville, OHCHR spokesperson in Geneva, told reporters that a total of 243 people were arrested, according to official figures.
"The Government has claimed that the camps were being used as bases for staging violent protests, and that they had found molotov cocktails, arms and drugs there," he said.
The majority of those detained, who include 18 minors and one pregnant woman, have reportedly been taken to Tiuna military premises. Lawyers and families have complained about lack of information about the whereabouts of those detained as well as lack of access to them.
Colville said that hundreds of other demonstrators took to the streets to protest against the arrests of the youths and the dismantling of the camps.
"Barricades were set up and roads blocked. A policeman was shot dead and three others reportedly injured during clashes. Protesters were also reportedly injured. Further arrests were reported throughout Caracas on Thursday evening."
OHCHR also voiced concern at reports of violence and attacks, usually started by armed individuals, in and around Venezuelan universities, which have been taking place since the beginning of the week.
The Library of the Fermin Toro University in Barquisimeto was set on fire, and police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse demonstrations inside and outside the premises of the Catholic University in Puerto Ordaz.
"We unequivocally condemn all violence by all sides in Venezuela. We are particularly concerned at the reported excessive use of force by the authorities in response to protests," said Colville.
"We therefore reiterate the High Commissioner's call to the Government to ensure that people are not penalised for exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression and for sustained and inclusive, peaceful dialogue based on Venezuela's human rights obligations," he said, adding that OHCHR remains available to support efforts to this end.
No comments yet! Be the first one to leave a comment.
|CARACAS, July 28, 2014: Venezuela's President, Nicolas Maduro (c), participates in the III Congress of United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV, for|
|CARACAS, Sept. 9, 2014: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (R) meets with Brazilan singer Beth Carvalho at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela,|
|CARACAS, July 21, 2014: Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd L) and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro (2nd R) attend the closing ceremony of the|
|CARACAS, July 20, 2014: Chinese President Xi Jinping (R front) is welcomed by his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro (L front) in Caracas, Venezuel|
|CARACAS, Aug. 14, 2014: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (1st R) delivers a speech during his meeting with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-M|
|CARACAS, Sept. 11, 2014: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro(C) attends the handover ceremony of General Secretary of the Union of South American Na|
|KANAGAWA, Sept. 9, 2014: Juan Falcon (L) of Venezuela and Gotoku Sakai of Japan vie for the ball during their Kirin Challenge Cup match in Yokohama, s|
|CARACAS, Aug. 21, 2014: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro delivers a statement at Miraflores Palace, in Caracas, Venezuela, on Aug. 20, 2014. Nicola|
|CARACAS, July 30, 2014: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (Front) speaks to media after his meeting with Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes at the|
HOUSTON, Oct. 24, 2014 - Zhu Yonglei ... Read More
More International News