ICJ condemns Venezuela’s systematic and ongoing impunity for gross human rights violations

Today, the ICJ made a statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council during its 52nd regular session on the oral update by the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the situation in Venezuela

The statement, which was delivered by ICJ Legal and Policy Office intern Collin Christner, reads as follows:

“Mr. President,

The International Commission of Jurists welcomes the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission’s oral update on the situation in Venezuela.

The ICJ condemns Venezuela’s systematic and ongoing impunity for gross human rights violations. Our research shows that last year’s appointment of new Justices to the Supreme court, which failed to meet international standards for judicial independence, has only reinforced longstanding deficiencies in the independence of the justice system and has done nothing to further domestic accountability for serious human rights violations.

The ICJ deplores the persistent threats and restrictions to civic space by Venezuelan political authorities, and the persecution and stigmatization of individuals and civil society organizations working to achieve accountability, end impunity, and support victims of serious human rights violations.

The ICJ calls for the rejection of the proposed law regarding “control, regularization, performance and financing of NGOs” that, if adopted, would lead to unfair and arbitrary sanctions against human rights defenders and civil society organizations.

The ICJ would ask the Fact Finding Mission its views on how passage of this legislation could serve to undermine accountability and maintain impunity.

The ICJ urges the Council to call on the Venezuelan authorities to fully cooperate with the FFM, including by granting permission to visit the country and providing it full access to victims and civil society with no risk of reprisals.

I thank you.”

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