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Joint statement for the oral update by the High Commissioner on the situation of Human Rights in Venezuela, 10 March 2021

Diálogo interactivo luego de la Actualización oral de la Alta Comisionada sobre Venezuela –

Ginebra, 10 marzo de 2021

Madam President,

On behalf of 55 countries, we thank the High Commissioner for her oral update and express our grave concern over the persistent deterioration of the human rights situation in Venezuela, resulting in the second largest migration and refugee crisis in the world.

We denounce escalating restrictions on civic and democratic space, including press freedoms. The continuous deterioration of the rule of law and lack of independence of the judicial system is accompanied by the criminalization and systematic targeting of civil society organizations.

We reiterate calls to end repression and attacks on political actors, human rights defenders, humanitarian organizations, journalists and media workers. We insist on the immediate and unconditional release of all persons arbitrarily detained, as the High Commissioner and the Fact Finding Mission have recommended.

In the context of a humanitarian and health crisis, we call for unhindered access and distribution of humanitarian assistance to the Venezuelan people, especially medicines and vaccines.

Last December's elections lacked the minimum standards for a democratic process. A peaceful and democratic solution to the Venezuelan crisis is urgently needed, through free, fair, transparent and credible presidential, parliamentary and local elections. We will support all efforts for Venezuelans to revive their democracy and uphold human rights and the rule of law in the country.

Thank you

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