Geneva, 12 September 2017

Thank you, Mr. President.

I speak on behalf of United Nations Watch.

My name is Mitzy de Ledezma. I am the wife of the mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, a political prisoner in Venezuela.

Yesterday, the High Commissioner referred to his country team’s report on Venezuela, which documents widespread human rights violations committed by the country’s authorities. These violations aim to curtail any form of protest against the government.

The report also finds systemic use of excessive force, including torture and ill treatment, arbitrary detention, and civilians  being tried by military courts.

Mr. President, we wonder: Why is Venezuela still allowed to sit as a member of this Council?

We wonder: Will the member states of this Council adopt a resolution, like the one tabled by United Nations Watch, which proposes that the membership of Venezuela to this Council be suspended?

Thirty million Venezuelans will thank you for showing a firm hand today.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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