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People fleeing the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela wait for food assistance on the Colombian border People fleeing the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela wait for food assistance on the Colombian border  (AFP or licensors)

Venezuelan bishops urge prosecutors to uphold human rights in the face of violations

The Justice and Peace Commission of Venezuela’s Bishops’ Conference is calling on Police Forces to respect rules enshrined in the Constitution to protect human rights.

By Linda Bordoni

Venezuela’s bishops have condemned what they say are violations of fundamental human rights by the country’s Police Forces and called on Public Prosecutors to exercise their powers in the name of justice.

A statement released by the country’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission on Tuesday decries “recent raids, seizures and detentions” carried out by security forces against members of NGOs whose mission is to protect human rights.

The statement emphasizes continued violations on the part of police, in particular regarding the right to health, “especially the provision of medicines to patients with chronic and serious diseases”.

It points out a large part of those medicines have been donated by international donors in an attempt to assist the vulnerable population that finds itself in the throes of a humanitarian emergency.

The Commission says its appeal to public prosecutors is based on the Gospel and on the Social Doctrine of the Church, as well as on Venezuela’s Constitution.

Rights enshrined in the Constitution

The bishops say they “reject and condemn violations of fundamental rights in accordance with Articles 83 and 84 of the Magna Carta” pointing out that those Articles demand the State respect its obligations to guarantee all citizens’ inherent right to life.

The title of their statement is “Blessed are those who are persecuted for doing what is right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

It is signed by the President of the Venezuelan Justice and Peace Commission, Archbishop Emeritus of Coro, Robert Luckert, and by the Commission’s Vicar General, Father Saul Ron Braasch.

 

20 February 2019, 12:59