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The Venezuelan government has systematically used brutal treatment, including torture, against anti-government protesters and political opponents. Security force personnel beat detainees severely and tortured them with electric shocks, asphyxiation,…
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Address Abuses, Use of Excessive Force, Censorship

(New York) – The Organization of American States (OAS) and its member countries should proceed with a meeting on the situation in Venezuela, Human Rights Watch said today. The OAS should use the meeting to address the human rights violations committed in…
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International Community Should Condemn Abuses, Censorship

(New York) – Venezuelan security forces have used excessive and unlawful force against protesters on multiple occasions since February 12, 2014, including beating detainees and shooting at crowds of unarmed people, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
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Government Acts to Curb Discussion About Chavez Health, Inauguration

(Washington, DC) – Venezuela should end censorship and intimidation of media that challenge the official line regarding President Hugo Chávez’s health and inauguration, Human Rights Watch said today. In recent days, the government has ordered a…
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Critics Targeted by Government

The concentration of power under President Hugo Chávez has taken a heavy toll on human rights in Venezuela, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 133-page report, “Tightening the Grip: Concentration and Abuse of Power in Chávez's…
Report
Summary In 2008, Human Rights Watch released A Decade Under Chávez, a 230-page report documenting how the government of President…
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Criminalization of Offending Speech Violates Freedom of Expression

(Washington, DC) - The conviction of Oswaldo Álvarez Paz for disseminating "false information" - on the basis of his criticism of the Chávez government - is a move against free speech in Venezuela, Human Rights Watch said today. Venezuela should revoke…
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Human Rights Watch Oral Statement at the 16th Session of the Human Rights Council

(Geneva) - Human Rights Watch would like to thank the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) for its Opinion 20/2010 on the arbitrary detention of Judge María Lourdes Afiuni of Venezuela. The decision to prosecute Judge Afiuni for upholding…
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Letter to Bernardo Álvarez Herrera, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States

Bernardo Álvarez Herrera Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States   Dear Ambassador Álvarez, As a follow-up to the meeting that Mr. Angelo Rivero Santos held on August 16 with Ms. Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli, Senior…
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Stop Prosecuting and Harassing Critics and Restricting Flow of Information

(Washington, DC) - Venezuela should close a recently created office that grants the Chávez administration broad powers to limit public debate, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should also stop seeking to discredit human rights defenders and…
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Forcing Cable Channels Off Air Undermines Freedom of Expression

(Washington, DC) - The Chávez administration should not abuse its authority to compel broadcast of presidential speeches that promote the government's political agenda, Human Rights Watch said today. On January 23, 2010, the Chávez government threatened…
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Vague Law Threatens Press Freedom

(Washington, DC) - The Chávez government should immediately stop harassing a private television station that has been critical of the government and call off an unwarranted investigation into its conduct, Human Rights Watch said today. In response to…
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(Mexico City) - President Obama came under fire last month for sharing a smile with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez at the Summit of the Americas. Critics say that Obama was wrong to be friendly with a foreign leader renowned for his anti-U.S. antics…
Report
A Decade Under Chávez Political Intolerance and Lost Opportunities for Advancing Human Rights in Venezuela I. Executive Summary Political Discrimination The Courts The Media Organized Labor Civil…
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On June 8, the Council of Europe released a report confirming allegations first made by Human Rights Watch in 2005 that the CIA used locations in Poland and Romania for the secret detention of terror suspects. During several years of research, we combed…
News
(New York) – The Central Intelligence Agency secretly operated illegal prisons for terrorism suspects in multiple locations in Poland and Romania from 2003 to 2005, according to a report released today by the Council of Europe, a European…
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The Venezuelan government’s politically motivated decision not to renew a television broadcasting license is a serious setback for freedom of expression in Venezuela, Human Rights Watch said today. The decision will shut down Radio Caracas Television (…
News
The European Parliament should condemn European complicity in the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program of “extraordinary renditions” and secret detention of prisoners, Human Rights Watch said today. The report of the European Parliament’s…
Report
Despite the considerable progress that has been made to ensure an independent press both in practice and in law, there is troubling evidence of official harassment of journalists whose views are critical of the ruling powers, ranging from selective denial…