• The April 2013 presidential election, held weeks after the death of President Hugo Chávez, resulted in a narrow victory for Chávez’s hand-picked successor, Nicolás Maduro, according to Venezuelan electoral authorities. The Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council rejected appeals filed by the opposition candidate, Henrique Capriles Radonski, challenging the results. The controversy over the results touched off street demonstrations and counterdemonstrations, which led to at least nine deaths and dozens of injured, as well as excessive use of force and arbitrary detentions by security forces.

  • Members of the National Bolivarian Police detain a demonstrator at anti-government protests in Caracas, Venezuela, March 22, 2014.
    Venezuelan security forces have used unlawful force in response to antigovernment 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.

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Reports

Venezuela

  • Apr 29, 2015
  • Apr 7, 2015
    Venezuela is intimidating and harassing human rights defenders, and making unsubstantiated allegations that they are seeking to undermine Venezuelan democracy, 27 international and Latin American human rights organizations said today. The authorities’ allegations concern the groups’ legitimate functions of documenting abuses and representing victims before international human rights bodies.
  • Feb 26, 2015
    The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) should condemn the grave human rights violations committed by the Venezuelan government against political opponents and protesters, Human Rights Watch said today. Venezuela should release people arbitrarily detained and bring to justice those responsible for abuses committed against protesters.
  • Feb 12, 2015

    Venezuela has granted powers to the military to use force to control peaceful demonstrations.

  • Dec 1, 2014
    Venezuela should conduct prompt, thorough, and impartial investigations into the deaths of 35 inmates in the David Viloria Prison (known as Uribana prison), in Lara state. The government should overhaul its penitentiary system to improve prison conditions and address violence within prisons.
  • Jul 29, 2014
  • Jun 26, 2014
  • Jun 26, 2014
    Member states of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) should press the Venezuelan government to immediately address the serious human rights problems the country is facing.
  • Jun 23, 2014
    Human Rights Watch is extremely concerned by Uzbekistan’s appalling human rights record across a wide spectrum of violations. Authorities target civil society activists, political opposition figures, and independent journalists. Human Rights Watch is also deeply concerned about the serious human rights situation in Venezuela, which is the worst we have seen in the country in years.
  • Jun 3, 2014
    Here's an uncomfortable truth confronting Chinese President Xi Jinping: It's 2014, but the pro-democracy, pro-rights sentiments that manifested across China as demonstrations in 1989 are still alive and well.