IACHR EXPRESSES CONCERN REGARDING
VIOLENCE, PERSONS DEAD AND WOUNDED DURING DEMONSTRATIONS IN VENEZUELA
Washington, D.C., February 2, 2010 - The
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expresses its serious
concern due to the grave acts of violence that have taken place in the
demonstrations carried out in several cities of Venezuela during the
week of January 25 2010, both in favor of and against the Government of
President Hugo Chavez.
According to the available information, at least two protesters died in
the context of demonstrations in favor and against the Government. Also,
there were reported to be several wounded persons, including members of
the security forces and protesters as a consequence of the improper use
of force on the part of the authorities and the actions of the
protesters themselves, both in favor of and against the Government.
Press accounts indicate that the police have dispersed the protesters
with tear gas and buckshot, and that several university students were
The Inter-American Commission reminds the Venezuelan State of its duty
to control demonstrations within the framework of respect for inter-American
human rights standards. As it has previously expressed: “In the
Commission's view, agents may impose reasonable restraints on
demonstrators to ensure that they are peaceful or to contain those who
are violent, as well as to disperse demonstrations that become violent
and obstructive. However, the actions of the security forces should
protect, rather than discourage, the right to assembly and therefore,
the rationale for dispersing the demonstration must be the duty to
protect people. The law enforcement officer deployed in such contexts
must contemplate the safest and quickest methods of dispersal that cause
the least harm to the demonstrators”.
The Venezuelan State has the duty to investigate and fully clarify acts
that violate human rights in proceedings that follow judicial guarantees;
to judge those responsible; and to make reparations for the consequences
of the violations.
The IACHR calls on Venezuela to engage in dialogue and allow the
peaceful exercise of the right of assembly, includying carrying out
demonstrations. The Inter-American Commission will follow closely the
developments in that country and will continue to discharge its duties
to promote and defend human rights pursuant to the instruments that
govern its mandate.
A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States
(OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the
American Convention on Human Rights. The Commission is composed of seven
independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing
a particular country, and who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.
IACHR Press Office
Read this press release in Spanish / Lea este comunicado de prensa en español
Press contact: María Isabel
Tel. (202) 458-3867
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