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Press briefing note on Venezuela

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:  Ravina Shamdasani
Location:     Geneva
Date: 12 April 2016
Subjects:     Venezuela

We are very surprised with the ruling yesterday by the Constitutional Chamber of Venezuela’s Supreme Court against the Amnesty and National Reconciliation Bill. The Bill, which was approved by the National Assembly on 29 March this year, could have served as the basis for a path of dialogue and reconciliation in Venezuela. 

We are still studying the ruling in detail, but we note with concern that the court declared the entire text unconstitutional. Upon the request of the Government, the High Commissioner had sent a legal analysis of this bill to Venezuela, advising that the text was generally in conformity with international human rights standards.

We call on the Government of Venezuela and the political opposition to open up avenues for a process of dialogue that could contribute to reaching the crucial political agreements that are necessary to tackle the multiple human rights challenges that the people of Venezuela are facing.

We also call on the Government of Venezuela and all State entities to ensure full respect for the basic rights and freedoms to which all the people of Venezuela are entitled - including human rights defenders and civil society actors - in line with the country's obligations under the international human rights treaties it has ratified, as well as the commitments it made during its Universal Periodic Review before the UN Human Rights Council.

ENDS

For more information and media requests, please contact please contact Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org) or Ravina Shamdasani (+41 22 917 9169 / rshamdasani@ohchr.org )

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