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Switzerland deplores the shrinking of democracy in Venezuela

Published on 15/07/2020

At Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Swiss representation to the UN has called on Venezuela to establish ‘free and fair conditions’ for the December legislative elections. 

Two weeks ago, the UN had already denounced the conditions ahead of the legislative elections, which the opposition will boycott. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet had criticised Supreme Court decisions, including the appointment of members of the National Electoral Council without an all-party consensus, as well as interference in the internal affairs of the two opposition parties. 

On Wednesday, Switzerland also expressed concern about criminal proceedings against parliamentarians, opponents, human rights defenders and demonstrators. Millions of Venezuelans do not have sufficient access to what they need, including health care, a representative of the Swiss mission to the UN in Geneva told the Human Rights Council. 

Switzerland also called on the Venezuelan government to grant access to all detention centres to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the fact-finding mission launched by the Human Rights Council.  

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report, presented on Wednesday, denounced the considerable reduction in the independence of the judiciary in Venezuela, which it said contributes to impunity and human rights violations. The subject of political pressure on judges was also mentioned along with recommendations, among other things, for the launch of an independent mechanism for appointing judges and prosecutors.