- Title: U.N. calls for release of Venezuelan opposition leaders and protesters
- Date: 1st August 2017
- Summary: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (AUGUST 1, 2017) (REUTERS) UNITED NATIONS BUILDING VARIOUS OF U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS AGENCY SPOKESWOMAN, RAVINA SHAMDASANI, READING MEDIA RELEASE U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS AGENCY STATEMENT ON VENEZUELA (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (OHCHR) SPOKESWOMAN, RAVINA SHAMDASANI, SAYING: "The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights is deeply concerned that Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma have had their house arrest revoked and they have been placed back in custody. The High Commissioner is calling on Venezuelan authorities to ensure that all those who have been detained for the exercise of their human rights to peaceful assembly, to the freedom of expression, to the freedom of association, to be promptly released." SHAMDASANI READING MEDIA RELEASE U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS AGENCY STATEMENT ON VENEZUELA (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (OHCHR) SPOKESWOMAN, RAVINA SHAMDASANI, SAYING: "The detention of these two very prominent opposition figures had already been declared arbitrary by the U.N. working group on arbitrary detention, which is the authority on these matters, so we are asking the government to respect this decision and to promptly release these two men." SHAMDASANI READING MEDIA RELEASE (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (OHCHR) SPOKESWOMAN, RAVINA SHAMDASANI, SAYING: "The situation in Venezuela is highly volatile at the moment. Just over the weekend, we had reports that at least 10 people had died, amid the protests in relation to the elections. We are calling on the authorities to refrain from the use of excessive force. There are many reports that excessive force has been used in the context of demonstrations. We also have reports that they have conducted house to house raids, the security officials have conducted violent house to house raids, and taken people and detained them. We are calling on the government to refrain from taking any further steps, to make an already bad situation even worse." UNITED NATIONS BUILDING
- Embargoed: 15th August 2017 18:41
- Keywords: United Nations Venezuela Leopoldo Lopez Antonio Ledezma Human Rights Venezuela
- Location: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- City: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Government/Politics,United Nations
- Reuters ID: LVA0016SBT9HJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Venezuela must release peaceful protesters and allow a prompt, independent investigation into the deaths of at least 10 people in protests at the weekend, the U.N. human rights chief said on Tuesday (August 1).
In a statement, U.N. Human Rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein also called for the release of two prominent opposition leaders, who were arrested in raids at their homes.
Leopoldo Lopez, a 46-year-old hardliner, and Antonio Ledezma, a 62-year-old veteran politician, were both under house arrest, the former for his role in leading street demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro in 2014, and the latter on charges of plotting a coup.
The pro-government Supreme Court said in a Facebook statement the measures were taken because the men had been planning to flee.
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