GENEVA, May 7, 2017 – The Swiss human rights group UN Watch today submitted a draft U.N. resolution on the crisis in Venezuela to members of the Organization of American States, and the U.S. and EU, and called on them to convene an emergency special session of the 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council which should consider suspending the Maduro government from its membership.
“We are witnessing state-sponsored atrocities, and one of the most grave human rights situations in the history of Venezuela,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental organization accredited in special consultative status with the world body.
A police crackdown arrested hundreds and killed dozens. Rage against Maduro’s regime exploded this past week when he called for a new constitution, the latest in a series of a power grabs. Demonstrators have overwhelmed city streets. The violence deepens a months-long crisis marked by spiraling crime, chronic food and medicine shortages, and economic collapse.
“We call on Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and other OAS member states, to work in concert with the U.S. and the EU to convene an emergency special session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, which only requires 16 signatures.”
“To jumpstart the discussion, we have circulated a draft resolution for member states to consider for adoption at the session, including a clause calling to suspend Venezuela’s Maduro regime from the Council,” said Neuer.
“Member states are obliged to uphold the highest standards of human rights. Yet the Maduro regime is committing gross and systematic abuses of basic human rights, and therefore they are liable for suspension. We need to see urgent action from the international community,” said Neuer.
“Some of the acts there have been deplorable and [it’s] certainly something that we’re monitoring very closely,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Friday, according to Reuters.
Death Toll Rises to 38
According to the Associated Press, clashes between police and protesters have left 38 dead in the past month.
The protest movement has drawn masses of people into the street nearly every day since March, and shows no sign of slowing.
“We are deeply concerned about the Maduro government’s violent crackdown on protestors in Venezuela. President Maduro’s disregard for the fundamental rights of his own people has heightened the political and economic crisis in the country,” said Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in a statement.
“The Maduro regime must respect Venezuela’s constitution and the voice of its people. We are particularly concerned that the government is failing to provide basic food and medical needs to the Venezuelan people,” Haley said.