Bachelet, concerned about the shrinking of civilian space in Venezuela
(CNN Español) – The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has expressed her concern about the “growing signs” of declining civic space in Venezuela. In his presentation on Thursday to the United Nations Human Rights Council, he indicated that his office had documented at least 66 cases of intimidation, harassment, exclusion and criminalization of “journalists, media outlets, human rights defenders, humanitarian workers, union leaders, members or supporters of the opposition, including This includes the elected members of the 2015 National Assembly and their families ”.
With regard to the upcoming electoral period, Bachelet called on the government authorities of the questioned president, Nicolas Maduro, to protect basic freedoms and ensure conditions for achieving “meaningful” participation in the public space, without excluding opponents. He considered that the appointment of the next national electoral council would be a “test” for the credibility of the elections.
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The High Commissioner indicated that her office continues to receive complaints about alleged extrajudicial executions in the context of operations by the security forces.
He called for “prompt and independent” investigations to be conducted to ensure accountability and prevent and stop these events.
In his intervention before the Council, the Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations, Hector Constant Rosales, indicated that his country takes note of the concerns that have been expressed and that it will provide a response “in due time”. He considered Bachelet’s proposal to be unbalanced by providing “unverified” information. “We are a free, democratic, sovereign and independent country in which human rights are fully enjoyed,” he said.