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UN report urges rights council to address Venezuela violence

By on August 30, 2017

Medics carry a demonstrator that was injured during protests, to safety, in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, July 1, 2017. (Ariana Cubillos/AP)

GENEVA — A new United Nations report chronicles swelling violence by Venezuelan security forces over four months this year, appealing to the main U.N.-backed human rights body to address the matter.

The 36-page report by the U.N human rights office adds personal accounts, attacks on journalists and other details to preliminary findings that the office released Aug. 8 citing “systematic use of excessive force” during anti-government demonstrations.

U.N. rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein urged President Nicolas Maduro’s government Wednesday to ensure independent investigations of abuses by security forces, plus armed groups and protesters.

Zeid said investigations begun under now-ousted chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz during the April-to-July period covered should remain “visibly impartial.”

The report urges the U.N.-backed Human Rights Council to address the matter in its next session, beginning Sept. 11.

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