Venezuela before the UN Committee on Torture

UN Committee against Torture begins session in Geneva. Venezuela to respond to submissions on its compliance.

    The case of Leopoldo Lopez, a Venezuelan politician still in detention, is included in the submission to UN Committee on Torture
[Reuters]
    The case of Leopoldo Lopez, a Venezuelan politician still in detention, is included in the submission to UN Committee on Torture [Reuters]

    For the first time in a decade, Venezuela will appear before the UN Committee against Torture. On November 6, the government of Venezuela will be given the chance to address a series of submissions presented to the committee by regional human rights organisations.

    The session is part of the month long session convened by the UN Committee against Torture, a body of 10 independent experts that monitors the Conventions implementation by State parties.

    In its briefing document to the Committee, Amnesty international says that despite "important measures" to combat torture having been implemented since 2013:  

    "Over the past months, during protests both for and against the government, there has been compelling evidence of the excessive use of force by security forces, and dozens of protesters have reported torture or other ill-treatment."

    The briefing document for consideration by the Committee on Torture also states: "According to information provided to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights by local human rights organisations, of the 8,813 new cases of human rights violations presented in 2012 to the Public Prosecutor's Office, 97 percent were dismissed or archived; charges were brought in the remaining 3 percent of cases."

    The continued detention of Leopoldo Lopez, leader of the opposition Popular Will (Voluntad Popular) party, is included in the submissions. The right-wing opposition leader has spent more than eight months in pre-trial detention in a military prison in Los Teques, on the outskirts of the capital, Caracas. 

    Later this month, a US delegation will address submissions bringing into question its government's adherence to and understanding of the treaty on torture. Human Rights Watch presented its document to the Committee last month relating to US policy, on issues including: "national security, criminal justice, policing, and immigration enforcement".

    Other nations submitting reports are: Sweden, Ukraine, Burundi, Venezuela, Croatia, Kazakhstan, and Australia.

    The session concludes on November 28.


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