Thank you, Madam President.
We welcome the High Commissioner’s recent update on the human rights situation in Venezuela and thank her for her work. We commend the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (IFFM) for its report and support a renewal of its mandate.
The IFFM’s report concerns us greatly. It describes extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions and torture. The IFFM reports that it has reasonable grounds to believe that senior figures in the Venezuelan regime ordered or contributed to the commission of crimes it documents. Such gross human rights violations are completely unacceptable.
The political, human rights and humanitarian situation has continued to deteriorate and the rule of law has been further weakened. At a time when the COVID pandemic and its consequences demand urgent attention, the regime in Venezuela is continuing its attacks on the political opposition; stifling media freedom; and threatening and intimidating journalists, human rights defenders and many others. We welcome the recent release of some political prisoners and urge that all those still held be released immediately and unconditionally.
We urge and expect Venezuela to promote and protect human rights, to prevent further serious abuses, and to comply fully with its obligations as an HRC member.
What tools does civil society need to support your work in the next phase of your mandate?