The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution creating a Fact-Finding Mission to investigate grave human rights violations and crimes under international law ongoing in Venezuela, sending a strong message to victims and perpetrators alike that impunity won’t be allowed to prevail, said Amnesty International.

“We welcome the action taken today by members of the UN Human Rights Council. It was high time for the international community, led by countries in the Americas, to listen to the long-forgotten victims of what is an unprecedented human rights disaster in the region,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

The resolution dispatches, as a matter of urgency, a Fact-Finding mission to investigate the policy of repression implemented by Nicolas Maduro’s government, including extrajudicial executions, torture and other ill treatment, enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions, with a view to ensuring full accountability for perpetrators and justice for victims. It does this as a response to the multidimensional human rights crisis laid out in the resolution, including violations of civil and political rights and also the rights to food, health and an adequate standard of living. This severe human rights crisis not only affects millions within Venezuela, but also has a regional impact. Over 4.3 million people have been forced to leave their country due to massive human rights violations, most of whom are now in other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“In fulfilling its mandate, the UN Fact-Finding mission will need to address the wider context in which the policy of state repression takes place: a dire humanitarian emergency in which essential human rights such as food, water and health have become out-of-reach luxuries for most people in Venezuela,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas.

“This resolution responds to calls for accountability made by victims, civil society organisations and states in the region, as they have not found any remedy in national courts and the government of Nicolas Maduro has isolated itself from any form of regional scrutiny.”

Iran presented a second resolution focused on the strengthening of cooperation by the Venezuelan government with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and her Office, which was also adopted by vote.

“Cooperation and accountability are not mutually exclusive; they are complementary. Any solution to the current crisis must put victims first and offer truth, justice and reparations, and guarantees that it won’t happen again,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas. “In addition to engaging constructively with the newly created Fact-Finding mission, we hope for robust follow-up by the UN Human Rights Council should Venezuela continue to refuse to engage meaningfully with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.”

Source: Amnesty International

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