Venezuela's Judiciary Facilitates Violation Of Opposition's Rights, Needs Reform - UN
Faizan Hashmi 1 month ago Thu 16th September 2021 | 08:29 PM
Venezuela's judicial system has facilitated serious rights violations and other crimes against the country's opposition activists and requires urgent reforms, according to the second report of the UN's independent fact-finding mission in Venezuela, released on Thursday
GENEVA (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 16th September, 2021) Venezuela's judicial system has facilitated serious rights violations and other crimes against the country's opposition activists and requires urgent reforms, according to the second report of the UN's independent fact-finding mission in Venezuela, released on Thursday.
"Our latest investigation found reasonable grounds to believe that, under intensifying political pressure, judges and prosecutors have, through their acts and omissions, played a significant role in serious violations and crimes against real and perceived opponents committed by various State actors in Venezuela," Marta Valinas, the mission's head, said in a statement.
The mission based its findings on 177 interviews with those currently working in the country's judiciary branch, former judges, prosecutors and lawyers, as well as an extensive analysis of thousands of pages of case files and other official documents. The study has also provided detailed analysis of 183 arrests of opposition figures made from 2014 to August 2021.
"Amid Venezuela's profound human rights crisis, the independence of the judiciary has become deeply eroded, jeopardizing its role in imparting justice and safeguarding individual rights," Valinas said.
The mission claimed that the Venezuelan government has consistently failed to fulfill its constitutional obligation to investigate and punish all those responsible for human rights violations, regardless of their status, in cases involving the opposition.
The mission further found reasonable grounds to believe that high-level Venezuelan political figures "exerted significant influence over the judiciary," the document said.
In light of these findings, the mission concluded that Venezuelan judiciary is in urgent need of reform to eradicate undue political influence and to ensure that the rights of all Venezuelans are protected in line with the country's constitution and international human rights obligations.
The Venezuelan crisis broke out in January 2019 when, after disputing incumbent President Nicolas Maduro's re-election in May 2018, opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president. While he is recognized by the United States and a few other countries, Russia, China, and several other states have backed Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.