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UN rights chief expresses concern over Venezuela ban on Attorney General from leaving the country

30 June 2017 – Amid the ongoing violence in Venezuela, the United Nations human rights office today expressed concern about a decision by the Supreme Court to null the appointment of the Attorney General, freeze her assets and ban her from leaving the country.

“We are concerned that the Supreme Court’s decisions appear to seek to strip her Office of its mandate and responsibilities as enshrined in the Venezuelan Constitution, and undermine the Office’s independence,” 

Rupert Colville
spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Venezuelan Supreme Court on 28 June decided to begin removal proceedings against Attorney General Luisa Ortega, freeze her assets and ban her from leaving the country. It also transferred some of the Attorney General’s, until now, exclusive functions to the Ombudsperson.

UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors stipulate that governments should ensure that prosecutors can do their jobs without intimidation, harassment or improper interference, among other things.

[read the full story] | [en español ]


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UN rights chief 'deeply concerned' by detention of Venezuela opposition leaders

The top United Nations human rights official today expressed deep concern about the detention of two opposition leaders by Venezuelan authorities after Sunday's elections for a Constituent Assembly convened by President Nicolás Maduro.

[testimonial author="Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein" title="UN High Commissioner for Human Rights" icon="icon" ] “I am deeply concerned that opposition leaders Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma have again been taken into custody by Venezuelan authorities after their house arrest was revoked,” [/testimonial]

He urged the Government to immediately release all those being held for exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, association and expression, noting that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention considers the detention of both Lopez and Ledezma to be arbitrary. (OHCHR)

President Maduro has declared victory in Sunday's elections for the new body, which could replace the current National Assembly.

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  • Full Statement by the High Commissioner for Human Rights :

    GENEVA (1 August 2017) – “I am deeply concerned that opposition leaders Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma have again been taken into custody by Venezuelan authorities after their house arrest was revoked. I urge the Government to immediately release all those being held for exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, association and expression.

    I also regret that at least 10 people reportedly died in Venezuela over the weekend amid demonstrations over the Constituent Assembly elections. The investigations into these deaths must be carried out in a prompt, effective and independent manner, with the full cooperation of the Government.

    I urge the authorities not to make an already extremely volatile situation even worse through the use of excessive force, including through violent house raids by security forces that have occurred in various parts of the country.

    I appeal to all parties to refrain from the use of violence.”

    The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention considers the detention of both Lopez and Ledezma to be arbitrary. The opinions of the Working Group on these cases can be found here:

    Lopez: http://daccess-ods.un.org/access.nsf/Get?Open&DS=A/HRC/WGAD/2014/26&Lang=E;

    Ledezma: http://daccess-ods.un.org/access.nsf/Get?Open&DS=A/HRC/WGAD/2015/27&Lang=E

    en español if es 4616


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