UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet Recognizes Progress in Technical Cooperation with Venezuela on Human Rights

From the headquarters of the UN-Geneva, in Switzerland, Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, acknowledged on Monday the progress of her office in technical cooperation with the government of Venezuela, after renewing a Memorandum of Understanding signed on September 20 of last year for one additional year.

This was reported by the senior official during the oral update of her report on progress in cooperation and technical assistance in the field of human rights in Venezuela, in the framework of the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

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“We have made progress in technical cooperation in areas such as the review of police protocols on the use of force and a diagnosis of the factors that affect the overcrowding in preventive detention centers,” said the High Commissioner, while acknowledging the facilities provided by the Venezuelan state during the visit to detention centers, including those of the Sebin (intelligence) and DGCIM (military intelligence).

She acknowledged the cooperation of Attorney General, Tarek William Saab, who ratified his commitment to advance in the investigation of the cases documented by his office. The UN office in Venezuela has made 15 visits to 14 detention centers, in which they have been able to conduct confidential interviews, in the context of the collaboration offered by the Venezuelan state. “These visits constitute a remarkable qualitative leap,” she said.

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Also, regarding the specific actions of the Bolivarian government to grant house arrest to parliamentarian Juan Requesens and pardon another 110 people, the UN representative considered that “decisions like these contribute to political inclusion.”

According to the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2019 and renewed this year, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights provides technical assistance to Venezuelan institutions in various areas, including the drafting of the second National Plan for Human Rights, the training of law enforcement officials and the state’s response to the negative consequences on human rights of the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the United States government and satellite countries.

Regarding this point, the High Commissioner noted that the new agreement includes a tripling of the number of human rights officers in the South American nation, as well as the formalization of a mechanism for the exchange of information on individual cases.

Featured image: Photo courtesy of Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(MPPRE)

Translation: OT/JRE/EF