The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 25 September 2023.
Statement for Interactive Dialogue with the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela. Delivered by UK Human Rights Ambassador, Rita French.
Thank you, Mr. President.
We thank the Fact-Finding Mission for its update. Its work is critical to monitoring human rights violations and abuses.
The report evidences intensified targeted persecution against human rights defenders and shrinking civic space. From the sentencing of six union leaders without due process to the continued arbitrary detention of human rights defenders, fundamental rights continue to be denied. Human rights violations must stop.
The resolution of Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis requires tolerance of dissenting voices and democratic normalisation. Unconstitutionally banning opposition candidates moves Venezuela further from a solution. We stress the importance of an independent, credible electoral arbiter and the right of Venezuelans to register and vote in free and fair elections.
We understand that these incidents are not isolated but are part of a context of continuous deterioration of the rule of law. We therefore believe that the situation in Venezuela continues to warrant the attention of the international community and the mandate of the Mission remains fundamental to deliver progress on human rights.
Señora Valiñas, the UK encourages Venezuela to give effect to previous recommendations made by the Mission. What are the most urgent recommendations in the lead up to the electoral period?