Venezuelan security forces have used unlawful force in response to anti-government demonstrations, severely beating unarmed protesters and shooting them at point blank range, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Security forces also subjected detainees to severe physical and psychological abuse, including in some cases torture, and justice officials failed to safeguard detainees’ due process rights.
The 103-page report, “Punished for Protesting: Rights Violations in Venezuela’s Streets, Detention Centers, and Justice System,” documents 45 cases from Caracas and three states, involving more than 150 victims, in which security forces have abused the rights of protesters and other people in the vicinity of demonstrations. Security forces have also allowed armed pro-government gangs to attack unarmed civilians, and in some cases openly collaborated with the gangs.
Read the full report here.
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