• Press Release

Venezuela: Wave of arrests as government turns against elected opposition

August 11, 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)

“By removing opposition officials from their posts for no legitimate reason, the Maduro administration is crossing a very delicate line,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“The justice system should never be abused to silence the opposition, particularly those who have been elected to office.”

“First they came for those taking to the streets, then for those who represent them in office. How much further is the Venezuelan government willing to go in order to silence those who think differently? The answer is terrifying,” said Guevara-Rosas.

“It seems that winning an election and being from a party opposed to the government is enough to send you to prison in Venezuela. The authorities must immediately give up trying to silence those who are simply drawing crucial attention to their country’s human rights crisis.”

“The suggestion that a truth commission set up by the government can impartially investigate human rights abuses the Maduro administration outright denies committing, is simply absurd.”