Today, the ICJ, in two separate statements before the UN Human Rights Council, alerted its Members to the continuing lack of independence and impunity for gross human rights violations in Venezuela.
The statements were delivered during the interactive dialogues with the Fact Finding Mission on Venezuela and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. It reads as follows:
- To the Fact Finding Mission
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) welcomes the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission’s oral update on the situation in Venezuela.
The ICJ would like to request the Mission to follow up on Venezuela’s compliance with previous recommendations related to judicial independence and access to justice. This is necessary because the recent legislative reforms on justice have aggravated the preexisting situation of impunity for gross human rights violations and abuses.
The current process for appointing new Supreme Tribunal of Justice is not in compliance with the international human rights standards and cannot guarantee judicial independence. The ICJ is concerned for the lack of transparency in judicial nomination processes, as the current membership of the Judicial Nominations Committee has been mostly co-opted by the ruling party supporters.
In addition, the ICJ is deeply concerned about the restrictions to civic space, the persistent use of anti-terrorism and financial compliance regulations against human rights defenders and civil society organizations.
Finally, the ICJ urges the Council to request the Venezuelan authorities to fully cooperate with the FFM including by granting permission to visit the country and full access to victims and civil society without fear of reprisals.
- To the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) welcomes the High Commissioner’s oral update on the situation of human rights in Venezuela.
The ICJ highlights the critical importance of effective cooperation between the High Commissioner’s Office and Venezuelan authorities aimed at preventing, redressing an providing accountability for serious human rights violations.
The process for judicial appointments to the new Supreme Tribunal of Justice is not in compliance with the rule of law and undermines judicial independence. The ICJ is concerned at the lack of transparency in judicial nomination processes, as the current membership of the Judicial Nominations Committee is under the effective influence or control of supporters of the ruling party.
Venezuela has imposed arbitrary restrictions on civic space and persists in misusing anti-terrorism and financial compliance regulations against human rights defenders and civil society organizations.
The ICJ calls on the High Commissioner to work closely with Venezuelan civil society on the basis of its mandate on cooperation but also protection of human rights on the ground.
Finally, the ICJ encourages the Council to request that Venezuela extend and expand cooperation with the UN’s human rights mechanisms, including the High Commissioner’s Office, but also Mandate Holders and other Mechanisms of this Council.
Massimo Frigo, ICJ UN Representative, e: massimo.frigo(a)icj.org, t: +41797499949AdvocacyNon-legal submissions