Wednesday, 24 July 2019 04:00 GMT

UN Human Rights Head Visits Venezuela, Meets Maduro and Guaido

(MENAFN - Merida, June 24, 2019 ( ) – The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, culminated a landmark three-day visit to Venezuela on Friday which looked to evaluate the human rights situation in the country.

The trip, which Bachelet described as 'crucial,' followed a preliminaryfact-finding mission by her office in Marchand a subsequent invitation by the government of President Nicolas Maduro. The visit is the first by a United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to the South American country.

A number of agreements were signed with the government, including the opening of a permanent two-person office to represent the Office of the High Commissioner ( OHCHR ) in Venezuela, provide technical assistance, and 'monitor' the situation. Agreements were also reached to 'carry out an evaluation of the National Commission for the Prevention of Torture and to assess the main obstacles for access to justice in the country.' The Venezuelan government additionally agreed to grant OHCHR staff 'full access to detention centres to be able to monitor conditions and speak to detainees.'

While in Caracas, the former Chilean president held meetings with a number of political and social leaders from across the political spectrum, including President Nicolas Maduro andself-declared 'Interim President'Juan Guaido. She also met with members of Maduro's cabinet, including the foreign, defence, interior, and prisons ministers, in addition to other leading officials such as Venezuela's national ombudsman, the president of the Supreme Court, the attorney general, and the president of the National Constituent Assembly.

Likewise, she had contact with a range of civil society organisations, particularly those involved in human rights advocacy, as well as academics, religious representatives, trade unionists, and members of the business community.

The high commissioner equally had the opportunity to hear allegations of human rights abuses from both pro- and anti-government actors, including claims ofextrajudical killingsand torture by security services as well as opposition political violence involving citizens beingburnt alive , all of which she described as 'heart-rending.'


UN Human Rights Head Visits Venezuela, Meets Maduro and Guaido

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