The ICJ today called on the UN Human Rights Committee and a group of UN Special Procedure mandates to take urgent follow up action on Venezuela in light of the grave and ever deteriorating human rights situation in the country.
In a letter to the UN Human Rights Committee, the treaty body responsible for monitoring implementation by States parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the ICJ called for urgent action by the Committee, either through its established follow-up procedure and/or through requesting a special interim report. The Committee’s follow-up procedure was referenced in the Committee’s Concluding Observations on Venezuela’s fourth periodic report under the ICCPR. Special interim reports may be requested by the Committee under Article 40(1)(b) of the ICCPR.
The ICJ also called for urgent action to be taken by the following UN Special Procedure mandates: the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of assembly and of association, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. This group of Special Procedure mandates had on 4 August 2017 issued a joint statement on the human rights situation in Venezuela.
The ICJ’s letters draw attention to several critical areas of concern:
- The rapidly deteriorating human rights situation;
- The lack of accountability of perpetrators of human rights violations;
- The lack of effective remedies and reparation for victims of human rights violations;
- The lack of independence of the judiciary;
- The institutional crisis arising from decisions of the Supreme Court of Justice;
- The unconstitutional election of the new National Constituent Assembly;
- The dismissal of the former Attorney General;
- The recent establishment of a ‘Truth Commission’;
- The intended revision of Venezuela’s Constitution; and
- Venezuela’s failure to notify its state of emergency under the ICCPR.
ICJ-Correspondence-VenezuelaFollowUp-HRCttee-2017-09-28 (download letter to the Human Rights Committee, in PDF)
ICJ-Correspondence-VenezuelaFollowUp-SPs-2017-09-28 (download letter to the Special Procedure mandates, in PDF)