World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Clash at UN Assembly

Clash at UN Assembly: Venezuela Objects as Aunt of Jailed Opposition Leader Calls for Urgent Human Rights Council Debate

GENEVA, March 7, 2014 - Venezuela's representative to the UN Human Rights Council vociferously objected today when the aunt of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, speaking on behalf of the non-governmental human rights group UN Watch, called on the 47-nation body to convene an urgent debate on the escalating situation and to dispatch a commission of inquiry.


Immediately following the clash, UN Watch submitted to U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton a draft letter that would convene an urgent debate on Venezuela, as well as a draft resolution to condemn Venezuela's violations of human rights, suspend the government of president Nicolas Maduro from the Human Rights Council, and create a commission of inquiry.

"The leading democracies must take action now to ensure the UN upholds its obligations to protect the human rights of the Venezuelan people," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

Julieta Lopez, who lives in Geneva, took the floor today during an interactive dialogue with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, part of a 4-week session that saw Venezuelan foreign Minister Elias Jaua meet Ban Ki-moon on Monday.

“Madam High Commissioner, the alarming situation in Venezuela is very personal for me,” said Ms. Lopez. “You have spoken of the large number of people arrested for exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression. Well, my nephew, opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, is one of those people."


"For peacefully exercising [his basic] human rights last month, Leopoldo -- a husband and father of two little children -- was arrested and placed in a military prison, in a 2 by 3 meter prison cell. He sleeps on the floor. He is allowed minimal access to sunlight and fresh air," Lopez told the assembly.

Lopez thanked Pillay for calling earlier this week for an "impartial, full and independent investigation into every single case of death and injury" in Venezuela. Lopez also noted that six of the Council's independent experts yesterday echoed the appeal.

Venezuelan delegate Edgardo Torro Careño interrupted as soon as Lopez called for the Council to hold an urgent debate.

"We apologize for interrupting this session, but we found ourselves obliged to take the floor on a point of order given that we are currently assessing the report of the High Commissioner which was presented to the Human Rights Council, and we are not on item 4 of the agenda discussing the situation of human rights which require the attention of the Council."

UN Watch dismissed the objection, saying that its statement was fully appropriate.

"It's time for the council to stop turning a blind eye to the escalating human rights crisis in Venezuela, which has already claimed hundreds of casualties. We need to see an urgent debate, the adoption of a resolution, and the undoing of the council's shameful election of Venezuela last year as one of its members," said Neuer.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: Announces Mission To Combat Ebola

Ebola outbreak: a peacekeeper with the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) wears a protective mask while on duty at UN offices in the capital city of Monrovia. UN Photo/Andrey Tsarkov More>>

Syria: Life-Saving Food Aid In Jeopardy For Millions Of Syrians

18 September 2014 – The United Nations World Food Programme ( WFP ) today warned that it is running out of funds to provide food for almost 6 million Syrians receiving its life-saving assistance. More>>

UN Warns: Hundreds Of Yemeni Families In Need Of Aid

Two displaced girls stand in front of the classroom where their family has been living in Aden, Yemen. Photo: UNHCR/P. Rubio Larrauri More>>

Ukraine: Victim "Tortured By Russian-Sponsored Militants"

GENEVA, September 17, 2014 – Irina Dovgan, a Ukrainian woman who made international headlines after she was publicly abused by Russian-sponsored militants in eastern Ukraine, testified today before the UN Human Rights Council. More>>

Gaza: Detention Conditions Of Palestinians Arrested By Israelis

PCHR Follows up Detention Conditions of Palestinians Arrested by Israeli Forces in Latest Offensive on the Gaza Strip More>>


UN: ‘Heinous’ Murder Of British Aid Worker By Islamic Militants

A wide view of the Security Council in session (file photo). UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras More>>

ALSO:

UN: Nuclear Programmes Of DPR Korea, Iran Remain Serious Concern

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano (left) delivers his introductory statement at the Board of Governors Meeting in Vienna, Austria. Photo: IAEA/Dean Calma More>>

Libya: Closer To Brink Of Protracted Conflict And Strife

Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Bernardino Léon. UN Photo/Evan Schneider More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news