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Venezuela: UN says evidence of 'crimes against humanity' by Nicolas Maduro's security forces

Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein pledges criminal investigation into military crackdown in response to protests over curbs to democratic freedom

Stephanie Nebehay
Monday 11 September 2017 09:54 BST
A woman argues with riot police in Caracas, Venezuela, on 4 August 2017
A woman argues with riot police in Caracas, Venezuela, on 4 August 2017 (Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters)

The United Nations (UN) human rights chief has warned that the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro may move to further crush democratic institutions and that crimes against humanity may have already been committed by his security forces.

“My investigation suggests the possibility that crimes against humanity may have been committed, which can only be confirmed by a subsequent criminal investigation,” Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein told the UN Human Rights Council, which Venezuela's foreign minister was due to address later in the day.

Last month, Zeid's office said that Venezuela's security forces had committed extensive and apparently deliberate human rights violations in crushing anti-government protests and that democracy was “barely alive”.


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