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IPU gravely concerned over new cases of abuse against Venezuelan MPs

In the last few days, the IPU has received an alarmingly high number of new complaints of alleged human rights violations against Venezuelan parliamentarians. The IPU Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians will examine these complaints, as well as other cases of reported abuse against MPs, in its next session in Geneva starting 20 January.

The IPU has been monitoring closely recent developments in Venezuela.

At least a dozen MPs were allegedly beaten and injured by security forces on 5 January when they were blocked from reaching the building of the National Assembly for a session on the election of the new parliamentary leadership. Since then, the IPU has been told that MPs cannot freely access the parliament and effectively perform their functions.  

These new allegations add to the existing case load of over 100 Venezuelan MPs who have complained to the IPU about violations to their human rights. The reports of abuse come mainly from parliamentarians opposing Mr. Maduro. Most of the complaints concern alleged threats, intimidation or physical attacks against the MPs.

The IPU strongly condemns the use of any force, violence or intimidation against parliamentarians, regardless of their political persuasion.

The IPU urges the national authorities to ensure the normal functioning of the Venezuelan National Assembly, including by allocating the necessary financial and human resources, and to guarantee the personal integrity of all its members. 

The IPU calls on all parties to exercise restraint and find a peaceful and sustainable resolution to the crisis in Venezuela.