Venezuela’s state security agencies repress oppositions through arbitrary arrests, torture -UN

Photo: Leonardo Fernández Viloria – Reuters

 

Venezuela’s state security agencies use arbitrary arrests and torture, which represent crimes against humanity, to repress the country’s opposition in a plan directed by President Nicolás Maduro, according to a United Nations report published on Tuesday.

By Reuters – Vivian Sequera

Sep 20, 2022

The report, produced by the U.N. independent international fact-finding mission on Venezuela, found that both Venezuela’s general office of military counterintelligence (DGCIM) and the Bolivarian national intelligence service (SEBIN), used sexual- and gender-based violence to torture and humiliate detainees since at least 2014, and continue to do so.

The findings were based on 471 interviews with victims, their family members and legal representatives, as well as at least 50 people who previously worked for the DGCIM, SEBIN or other government entities.

Venezuela’s ministry of communication did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“Real or perceived government opponents and their relatives were subjected to unlawful detention, followed by acts of torture,” the report said.

Detainees were subject to being beaten with blunt and sharp objects, electric shocks, and force-feeding of feces and vomit, it added.

Various sources, including former high-ranking employees of the DGCIM and the armed forces, with direct knowledge of how such decisions were made, reported that Maduro relayed the orders to the DGCIM’s director, General Iván Hernández Dala, via telephone.

Detainees included military officers deemed risky due to the respect they commanded and others suspected of taking part in attempted coups, as well as opposition politicians, social activists, and advocacy-group employees.

Read More: Reuters – Venezuela’s state security agencies repress oppositions through arbitrary arrests, torture -UN

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