Independent International Experts (OAS) determines that major crimes against humanity have been committed in Venezuela

Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights Founder and Chair, Irwin Cotler, along with Judge Santiago Canton (pictured above) from Argentina, and Judge Manuel Ventura from Costa Rica made up the International Panel of Experts set up by the OAS last September. The Panel was tasked with investigating whether crimes against humanity have been committed in Venezuela, and if so to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court for investigation.

The Panel of Experts released their landmark report at a press conference in Washington this past Tuesday, May 29th, followed by meetings with the Secretary General of the OAS, the G20, European Union representatives, and civil society.

The Panel found that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that (standard of proof under the Rome Statute) seven major crimes against humanity have been committed in Venezuela, including: murder and extrajudicial executions; widespread detentions and imprisonment; torture; rape and other sexual violence; massive persecution on political grounds; enforced disappearances; and a state-orchestrated humanitarian crisis, resulting in thousands of preventable illnesses and deaths.

The Panel of Experts recommended that the report be submitted to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to open an investigation. They also recommended that the Secretary General of the OAS invite State Parties to the Rome Statute to refer the situation to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

To watch Tuesday’s press conference in Washington: click here

To read a copy of the report released by the OAS’ Expert Panel: click here

Source: Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights

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Categories: Discrimination

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