Venezuela: More attacks against human rights defenders and NGOs

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56th Session of the Human Rights Council

ITEM 4: ID on HC report on Venezuela

4 July 2024

Oral Statement by: Olga Guzmán Vergara

We welcome the contributions of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in this new period. OMCT and COFAVIC[1] are deeply concerned about the systematic persecution, criminalisation, and threats against persons and organisations that defend human rights in the country.

In Venezuela, it has been recorded that during electoral contexts, restrictions to civic space are intensified, and methods of social control are developed using citizen security operations that, in most cases, constitute abusive interventions to intimidate and inhibit the population in vulnerable urban areas.

The organisation COFAVIC documented 2,542 attacks against human rights defenders and NGOs between 2018 and May 2024. In the first five months of 2024, 144 cases were registered.

It is imperative that this Honourable Council recognize the crucial role of the Office of the High Commissioner in returning to Venezuela with the necessary guarantees to carry out its mandate of protecting and monitoring human rights. Equally important is the need for the Independent Fact-Finding Mission to be allowed entry into the country to ensure accountability and follow up on their recommendations.

Thank you very much.

[1] El Comité de Familiares de Víctimas de los Sucesos de Febrero- Marzo de 1989 (COFAVIC) is a member organisation of the SOS-Torture Network of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT).