Venezuela’s police, government security forces, and intelligence services were behind grave abuses against dissidents and other serious violations on the order of President Nicolas Maduro, a UN team claimed in a new report released Tuesday.
In this report, the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (FFMV), tasked with investigating alleged human rights abuses in Venezuela, has accused officials of “crimes against humanity”.
The fact-finding report that accuses Maduro of taking concerted action to repress his political opponents is based on nearly 250 interviews with Venezuelan nationals, including 50 former officials.
The UN mission noted that Diosdado Cabello, a high-ranking official who leads the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), has also frequently issued personal orders for targeting and arrest of various opposition figures, including students, journalists, and NGO workers.
FFMV have reportedly documented 122 cases of torture, sexual violence and/or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment” by Venezuela’s top intelligence outfit, the Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM).
Marta Valinas, who leads the UN’s FFMV, added that in light of the grave crimes and human rights violations that were being committed, including acts of torture and sexual violence, the country is still facing a profound human rights crisis.
She also stressed that these practices to repress dissent in the country must stop immediately, and the individuals responsible must be investigated and prosecuted in accordance with the law.
The report accuses Venezuelan authorities of taking little or no action whatsoever against the rights abusers, failing to hold them to account and to provide reparations to their victims.
The report is set to be shared with the body’s Human Rights Council sometime in the coming weeks while the Venezuelan government, which has dismissed similar charges in the past, has yet to respond to it.