Venezuela: Government steps up 'policy of repression' against protesters

© Amnesty International

At least four people have been killed, more than 200 injured and 205 arrested during state repression of protests across Venezuela since 30 April, Amnesty International has confirmed.

Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International’s Americas Director, said:

“The security forces under the command of Nicolás Maduro and the armed civilian groups that support him insist on repressing the protests by people demanding a way out of the serious political and human rights crisis that has plagued the country for several years.

“The crimes under international law that they are committing add further weight to the already bulging dossier to be investigated under international justice systems. Maduro must put an immediate end to his policy of repression.”

Amnesty has been documenting the grave human rights violations and crimes under international law that have taken place in Venezuela since the crisis worsened in January 2019. The organisation has documented extrajudicial executions, unlawful use of lethal force, arbitrary mass arrests and ill-treatment of people who speak out against Maduro’s government.

Background

On 30 April, National Assembly President Juan Guaidó announced that officers of the armed forces had joined his call “within the framework of the Constitution for the definitive end to the usurpation by Nicolás Maduro”.

This announcement was accompanied by a call for the Venezuelan population to take to the streets in support of what he called “Operation Freedom,” prompting a series of protests that have faced strong repression by the security forces under the command of Nicolás Maduro and the armed civilian groups that support him (known as colectivos in Venezuela).

Maduro, who called the 30 April announcement a “coup attempt,” called on the population to demonstrate in support of his government. On 1 May there were also demonstrations in support of his government, in which there have been no reports of people being injured, killed or detained.

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