UN renews mandate of human rights mission in Venezuela | United Nations News

Human rights groups welcome the two-year extension of the UN mission, which Caracas condemns as “designed for interventionism”.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has renewed the mandate of its fact-finding mission to Venezuela, a move that Caracas sees as an aggressive tool to interfere in internal affairs.

The mandate to extend the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission for Venezuela (FFM) for two years was approved by 19 votes to 5 with 23 abstentions at a council session in Geneva on Friday.

The UN mission was established in 2019 to investigate alleged human rights abuses in the country.

Those who opposed it were Cuba, Bolivia, China, Eritrea and Venezuela itself, whose representative on the Council, Ambassador Hector Constant Rosales, called the resolution “hostile”.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Carlos Faria said on Twitter that the extension of the FFM was “a new attack on Venezuela”.

The mission “is designed for interventionism and for the falsification of reality. This commission is a political instrument of the most brazen defamation on human rights issues,” he added.

In September, the mission’s third report revealed that state intelligence agencies under President Nicolas Maduro had cracked down on the opposition with arbitrary detentions and torture amounting to crimes against humanity.

Intelligence agencies “have used sexual and gender-based violence to torture and humiliate their detainees” since at least 2014 and “the violations and crimes…continue to this day,” the report said.

The Venezuelan government responded that the accusations in the report were “false and baseless”.

Venezuela is a “democratic and social state, based on the rule of law and justice, which is committed to promoting, respecting and protecting human rights”, the government said.

Human rights groups have welcomed the expansion of the FFM.

This renewal is a “sign of support for the countless victims of serious human rights violations that have been and continue to be committed in the country”, declared on Twitter Erika Guevara Rosas, director of Amnesty International for the Americas.

Human Rights Watch called the extension of the FFM “extremely important” and said it served “an early warning role in the run-up to the 2024 presidential elections.”

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