UN Demands Release of Thousands of Protesters Wrongfully Arrested in Venezuela
EspañolMore than a thousand people have been detained while protesting peacefully against President Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorial regime in Venezuela, according to the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
In a statement, the UN condemned actions taken by the Venezuelan regime to smother opposition demonstrations. At least 3,600 Venezuelans have been arrested, with a reported 1,100 still behind bars.
“We call for the immediate release of all those arbitrarily detained, including those who have been tried by military courts,” a statement released by Al Hussein said.
Protests have raged over the last several months, resulting in violent clashes with police and other law enforcement. The incidents drew international criticism at first for their brutality — dropping tear gas from helicopters onto demonstrations and generally assaulting peaceful participants — but now, the United Nations and other organizations are speaking out against the number of arbitrary arrests that have been made by regime forces, and the continued incarceration of innocent citizens.
The Venezuelan Penal Forum — an NGO helping victims of human rights violations in the country — said that there are currently 431 political prisoners being held by Maduro’s regime.
The United Nations also reacted to the Maduro regime’s decision to release political prisoner Leopoldo López. Though he is still under house arrest, officials with the UN said the move is a “first step in the right direction.”
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“We hope that the decision of the Supreme Court (in relation to López) will contribute to reducing tensions and create good conditions for a dialogue between the government and the opposition.”
Source: Diario Las Américas