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Human Rights Watch Condemns Venezuela Government Violence Against Protesters

By: PanAm Post Staff - May 7, 2014, 8:22 am

EspañolThe NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) has published a report called “Punished for Protesting” on the wave of protests in Venezuela that began early February and has so far resulted in 41 dead, 800 injured, and more than 2,000 detainees.

The document, released on Monday, indicated that the government of Nicolás Maduro committed several abuses against civilians, such as arbitrary beatings and illegal detentions, while prosecutors and judges turned a blind eye. The report also makes a brief reference to the violence provoked by the protesters, armed with stones and molotov cocktails to defend themselves against the tear gas and water cannons of riot police.

The finding was based on 90 interviews, including victimes, relatives, and lawywers, and on the investigations of 45 individual cases of serious human rights violations. The NGO also found 10 cases of torture, where burning, electric shocks, and threats of rape were inflicted on detained protesters. In response to the report, the Venezuelan government accused Human Rights Watch of being a “pawn of the United States.”

According to Venezuela’s Attorney General Luisa Ortega, while there have been “excesses” by security forces in clashes against demonstrators, allegations of systematic human rights violations are false. The attorney general’s office is currently investigating 142 complaints of human rights violations.

Source: Reuters.