Human Rights Council Member Venezuela Using Sexual Violence to Silence Dissidents
The UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (FFMV) on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela released a report on Tuesday detailing how Nicolas Maduro’s socialist regime – which currently holds a seat on the UN Human Rights Council – is using its intelligence and military institutions for the execution of crimes against humanity.
new Report — the third report released by the Independent Fact-Finding Mission since its inception in 2019 — describes how Maduro worked with other senior regime officials to orchestrate and implement plans to suppress opposition to his rule, including the use of extreme torture , sexual violence, and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
The United Nations has long confirmed human rights atrocities and other crimes committed by member states before taking action, including failing to revoke privileges such as seats on certain bodies such as the Human Rights Council. Last year, UN experts accused Maduro of crimes against humanity when he allowed his regime to serve on the Security Council.
Maduro has retained the seat even though he is no longer Venezuela’s legitimate president since 2019, when the country’s National Assembly used its constitutional powers to swore a legitimate but powerless president, Juan Guaido.
The latest report, released on the first day of a high-level debate at the UN General Assembly, did not change the position of the Maduro regime in the organization. Venezuela Keep its Human Rights Council position for the 2020-2022 term. A delegation from Maduro’s regime will attend the assembly in support of Guaido’s representative.
Because the Maduro regime has never allowed the fact-finding mission into Venezuela, its findings and allegations are based on classified reports of 246 interviews with victims, their families and former members of Maduro’s security and intelligence agencies.
The report focuses on the operations of two components of Maduro’s intelligence agency: the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) — which, the report states, “aims to identify political dissidents and human rights activists, as well as others deemed violators of Government regulations;” and the Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM), “for military personnel and associated civilians allegedly involved in rebellion or coup attempts”.
in a according to On September 20, the head of the fact-finding mission, Marta Valiñas, said, “Our investigation and analysis show that the Venezuelan state relies on intelligence services and their proxies to suppress dissent in the country.”
“In doing so, serious crimes and human rights violations are being committed, including acts of torture and sexual violence,” Valinhas asserted. “These practices must stop immediately, and those responsible must be held accountable in accordance with the law.”
The fact-finding mission found that the Maduro regime’s DGCIM and SEBIN have used sexual and gender-based violence extensively to torture and humiliate citizens since at least 2014.
It has also uncovered cases of short-term enforced disappearances of detainees, beatings of citizens with blunt and sharp objects, and cases of torture such as electric shocks, pressure positions, suffocation, cuts, dismemberment, death threats and force-feeding. feces and vomit.
“Intelligence agencies also conduct sexual violence against dissidents (both men and women), including rape with body parts or objects, threats to rape detainees or their relatives, forced nudity, and beatings and electric shocks to detainees. These sexual violence conduct also constitutes torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” Say Francisco Cox, one of the mission’s members.
The report concluded that Maduro’s human rights crimes remained “serious”.
“The country has endured a decade-long spiral of humanitarian, social, economic and human rights crises, coupled with the collapse of state institutions, all of which [Chinese coronavirus],” the report said. “The stark evidence of this is that more than 6 million people feel compelled to leave the country. “
The Fact-Finding Mission recommended to the international community that “States should consider taking legal action against individuals responsible for the violations and crimes identified in this report, in accordance with their relevant domestic legislation.”
The United Nations Human Rights Council is Scheduled As part of the agenda of its 51st session, the findings of the independent fact-finding mission were discussed on 26 September.
While Maduro himself did not attend this week’s assembly, representatives of his regime are expected to speak on the prestigious platform.
Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer who documents life under socialism.You can follow him on twitter here.