Venezuela: Need for International Accountability

The ICJ today reiterated its call for the UN Human Rights Council to establish an international independent Commission of Inquiry on the human rights situation in Venezuela.

The statement, delivered in a general debate at the Council following the oral update by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights mandated by the previous Human Rights Council resolution on Venezuela, read as follows:

“Mr. President,

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) welcomes the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ oral update on the situation in Venezuela.

The update and previous reporting point to a wide range of human rights violations, which continue to occur inside the country. These include arbitrary deprivation of liberty, serious violations of indigenous people’s rights, excessive use of force by security forces and attacks on freedom of expression, among others, as well as the impacts of laws, policies and practices that have adversely affected the independence of the judiciary.

Over the years, the International Commission of Jurists has monitored and documented the lack of judicial independence in Venezuela and the absence of accountability for those responsible for gross human rights violations.

The ICJ urges the Human Rights Council to establish an independent Commission of Inquiry on the human rights situation in Venezuela, given that Venezuelan authorities have been unable or unwilling to pursue effective domestic accountability, and judicial and prosecutorial mechanisms in the country lack independence and impartiality.

The Commission of Inquiry should be mandated to investigate reports of violations of international human rights law in Venezuela, establish the facts and circumstances of violations committed since at least 2014, and identify those responsible with a view to contributing to full accountability for all violations, including those that constitute crimes under international law.

Thank you.”

The oral update of the UN Human Commissioner for Human Rights, on the situation in Venezuela, may be accessed here.

In August 2019, the ICJ joined other NGOs in calling for an international commission of inquiry on Venezuela.

States are expected to discuss a further resolution on Venezuela at the current Human Rights Council session, for adoption on 26 or 27 September.

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