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03:16

Switzerland: Venezuela dismisses UN human rights report as 'biased'

Switzerland, Geneva
July 05, 2019 at 22:01 GMT +00:00 · Published

Venezuela's Deputy Foreign Minister William Castillo dismissed a new report by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet as "biased" saying it "disregards information provided by the state" during a United Nations Human Right Council meeting in Geneva on Friday, after Bachelet briefed the council on the report.

"The content of this report is incomprehensible, dominated by a selective and biased vision," Castillo said. "It almost completely disregards information provided by the state and only takes into account the information obtained by the spokespeople of the opposition and the press."

Of the report's sources and methods, Bachelet said, "Human rights officers also made nine visits to interview Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Spain. Additionally, I was able to visit Caracas two weeks ago - the first official mission by a High Commissioner for Human Rights."

The Human Rights Commissioner and former Chilean president said her office had documented excessive use of force against protesters as well as what could constitute extrajudicial killings.

"Essential institutions and the rule of law in Venezuela have been eroded. The exercise of freedom of opinion, expression, association and assembly, and the right to participate in public life, entail a risk of reprisals and repression," said Bachelet. "Our report notes attacks against actual or perceived political opponents and human rights defenders, ranging from threats and smear campaigns to arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment, sexual violence, and killings and enforced disappearance."

She added that she had personally met with multiple officials from the Venezuelan government and the opposition.

Venezuela has been in political crisis since January 23, when Guaido declared himself interim president in a move now recognized by over 50 countries and international bodies including the United States and the European Union. Hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets leading to multiple clashes with police, while over 4 million Venezuelans have fled the country according to the UNHCR.

03:16
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Venezuela's Deputy Foreign Minister William Castillo dismissed a new report by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet as "biased" saying it "disregards information provided by the state" during a United Nations Human Right Council meeting in Geneva on Friday, after Bachelet briefed the council on the report.

"The content of this report is incomprehensible, dominated by a selective and biased vision," Castillo said. "It almost completely disregards information provided by the state and only takes into account the information obtained by the spokespeople of the opposition and the press."

Of the report's sources and methods, Bachelet said, "Human rights officers also made nine visits to interview Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Spain. Additionally, I was able to visit Caracas two weeks ago - the first official mission by a High Commissioner for Human Rights."

The Human Rights Commissioner and former Chilean president said her office had documented excessive use of force against protesters as well as what could constitute extrajudicial killings.

"Essential institutions and the rule of law in Venezuela have been eroded. The exercise of freedom of opinion, expression, association and assembly, and the right to participate in public life, entail a risk of reprisals and repression," said Bachelet. "Our report notes attacks against actual or perceived political opponents and human rights defenders, ranging from threats and smear campaigns to arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment, sexual violence, and killings and enforced disappearance."

She added that she had personally met with multiple officials from the Venezuelan government and the opposition.

Venezuela has been in political crisis since January 23, when Guaido declared himself interim president in a move now recognized by over 50 countries and international bodies including the United States and the European Union. Hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets leading to multiple clashes with police, while over 4 million Venezuelans have fled the country according to the UNHCR.

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