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Venezuela's government accused of committing crimes against humanity in UN report

September 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - MARCH 12: President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro talks during a press conference at Miraflores Government Palace on March 12, 2020 in Caracas, Venezuela. (Photo by Carolina Cabral/Getty Images)

Venezuela's government was accused of committing "crimes against humanity" in a report published Wednesday by a United Nations-backed fact-finding mission.

After investigating 223 cases of alleged extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions and torture, and reviewing an additional 2,891 to corroborate patterns of violations and crimes, the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela found that the Venezuelan government, as well as other state agents and groups working with them, had committed "egregious violations. "

"The Mission found reasonable grounds to believe that Venezuelan authorities and security forces have since 2014 planned and executed serious human rights violations, some of which -- including arbitrary killings and the systematic use of torture -- amount to crimes against humanity," said Marta Valiñas, chairperson of the UN mission.

In addition to extrajudicial killings, the UN mission also investigated politically motivated repression and torture allegedly by Venezuelan intelligence agencies, namely the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) and the General Directorate of Military Counter-Intelligence (DGCIM).

Venezuelan authorities must immediately carry out prompt, effective, thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigations into the violations and crimes, bringing perpetrators to account and providing justice for victims," Valiñas said, calling for other international bodies, like the International Criminal Court, to consider legal action against those responsible for the crimes identified by the UN mission.

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