Venezuela: Political spiral of violence a threat to the rule of law

Amesty International 2014-04-01

Venezuela risks one of the worst threats to the rule of law in decades if the different political forces do not commit to fully respecting human rights, according to a new Amnesty International report on the current crisis in the country.

The report, Venezuela: Human Rights at risk amid protests, documents allegations of human rights violations and abuses committed in the context of the massive public demonstrations since early February.

“The country runs the risk of descending into a spiral of violence unless steps are taken to bring the conflicting parties around the table. This can only happen if both sides fully respect human rights and the rule of law. Unless this happens, the death toll will continue to rise with ordinary people bearing the brunt,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

So far 37 people have lost their lives and more than 550 have been injured including at least 120 through the use of firearms. According to figures released by the Office of the Attorney General on 27 March 2,157 have been detained during the protests. The vast majority has been released but continue to face charges.

According to allegations received by Amnesty International, the country’s security forces have resorted to the excessive use of force, including the use of live fire, and even torture when dealing with protesters.

Read full story: http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/venezuela-political-spiral-violence-threat-rule-law-2014-04-01

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