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UN Authority Figures

UN Human Rights Council: Venezuela

Photo: Everyday, 53 Venezuelans will not return home or will be murdered in their own places. A son grieves for his father, who was killed in a street of the neighborhood. Their stories seem to be quite accepted as unstoppable events (Handout File: Fernando Sánchez)

Mission of the Human Rights Council:
"The General Assembly...2. Decides that the Council shall be responsible for promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in a fair and equal manner; 3. Decides also that the Council should address situations of violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations, and make recommendations thereon..." (Resolution 60/251)

Venezuela's Term of office: January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2015

Venezuela's Record on human rights:
"The principal human rights abuses included government actions to impede freedom of expression and criminalize dissent. The government harassed and intimidated privately owned television stations, other media outlets, and journalists throughout the year...The government did not respect judicial independence...The government used the judiciary to intimidate and selectively prosecute political, union, business, and civil society leaders who were critical of government policies or actions....security forces were accused of committing unlawful killings, including summary executions of criminal suspects... Press and NGO reports of beatings and humiliating treatment of suspects during arrests were common...Torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishments of prisoners were reported during the year. A common method of torture or degrading treatment was the denial of medical care by prison authorities... violence against women continued to be a problem... The press reported on October 9 that according to unofficial statistics from the Prosecutor General's Office, 501 women died as a result of domestic violence during the year... There were widespread reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice, including anti-Semitism...For example: On May 24, Jewish leaders filed a formal protest with the Prosecutor General's Office over the "incitement to hate" contained in an April 4 broadcast on the government-owned Radio del Sur. In that broadcast the station's director, Cristina Gonzalez, promoted the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a "must-read"... On September 17, in a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon in support of Palestinian statehood, President Chavez denounced Israel for committing "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" of Palestinians and called Zionism "racism."" (State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2011, Venezuela)