Home » Venezuela suspends human rights office. H H. of the UN and expels its staff

Venezuela suspends human rights office. H H. of the UN and expels its staff

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The Venezuelan government has announced its decision to suspend the activities of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in the country and ordered the departure of its staff within 72 hours. The move comes after the UN entity expressed deep concern over the arrest of Venezuelan activist Rocío San Miguel, a critic of President Nicolás Maduro.

Foreign Minister Yvan Gil stated that the government will carry out a comprehensive review of the terms of technical cooperation described in the letter of understanding signed with the UN human rights office and ordered the personnel to leave the country within 72 hours.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, visited Venezuela in January 2023 and encouraged authorities to release all those arbitrarily detained. He also met with various sectors of civil society and government authorities and addressed complaints about extrajudicial executions and restrictions on access to some detention centers in the country.

The office’s main work consists of providing support for the effective implementation of the recommendations issued in the reports that the high commissioner presents to the Human Rights Council. There have been at least six reports on the situation in Venezuela since 2019.

The San Miguel case, in which the activist was arrested and accused of treason, terrorism, and conspiracy, has drawn international concern. The United States, European Union, and the UN human rights office have expressed deep concern about the case.

The Venezuelan government has labeled the representation a “hemiplegic office” and has called for close cooperation with the national government in addressing human rights issues.

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The decision to suspend the activities of the UN human rights office in Venezuela is likely to escalate tensions between the government and international human rights organizations.

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