• Press Release

Venezuela: Ban on protests lays groundwork for mass human rights violations

July 28, 2017

Opposition activists shout slogans while members of the National Orchestra System hold a demonstration in rejection of the recent deaths of young people by security forces -within opposition protests- in Caracas on May 7, 2017. The last death in Venezuela's unrest, of a 22-year-old man, occurred during looting in Valencia, one of Venezuelan cities hardest hit by a worsening economic crisis. Demonstrators blame Maduro for the country's plight and the shortages of food and medicine, and demand elections to remove the leftist president. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN BARRETO (Photo credit should read JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)
©Getty Images/Juan Barreto

The security plan announced ahead of the elections for the Constituent Assembly in Venezuela this Sunday banning protests against the vote is laying the groundwork for a new wave of mass human rights violations, said Amnesty International.

“Venezuela’s ban on protests will do nothing but worsen an already incredibly volatile situation,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“Instead of trying to silence the increasing popular anger, authorities must find workable solutions to people’s very reasonable demands. Continuing to punish dissenting voices will only sink the country into an even deeper crisis.”

The Venezuelan government’s security plan also includes provisions – such as the deployment of military personnel and experts to deal with electoral and military crimes – which are likely to facilitate a new wave of human rights violations.

Since protests began on April 4, more than 100 people have been killed and more than 1,400 injured, according to official sources.

The Venezuelan authorities have called for elections for the National Constituent Assembly, which will take place on July 30. The Assembly will have the power to re write the country’s constitution.

Some Venezuelan citizens have reported being threatened and intimidated into participating in the elections.