Amnesty International on Tuesday said Venezuelan government may have committed crimes against humanity, and called for it to be taken before “an independent and impartial judicial body.’’
It accused President Nicolas Maduro of widespread policy of repression which constituted crime against humanity.
According to it, selective extra-judicial executions, arbitrary detentions, and deaths and injuries caused by excessive use of force by Maduro’s government as part of systematic and widespread policy of repression since 2017 may constitute crimes against humanity.
“The government is repressing opponents simply because they are protesting, for which Nicolas Maduro’s government must be held accountable before the international justice system,’’ Amnesty’s Americas Director, Erika Guevara-Rosas, said.
It said that during massive anti-government protests from Jan. 21 to 25, no fewer than 47 people were shot dead in 12 of the country’s 23 states.
“No fewer than 33 of them were killed by state security forces and six by third parties acting with the approval of the authorities. Over 900 people were arbitrarily detained.
“The events during those five days reflect a policy of repression documented by Amnesty since 2014, which includes cruel and inhumane treatment and torture,’’ the rights group said.
Amnesty has also denounced more than 8,000 extra-judicial executions by the security forces between 2015 and 2017.
It urged UN Human Rights Council to establish a commission of inquiry into the issue, and called for the activation of universal jurisdiction by countries genuinely concerned about the situation in the country.