The government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has committed systematic human rights violations including killings and torture amounting to crimes against humanity, United Nations investigators said in a report on Wednesday.
Reasonable grounds existed to believe that Maduro and his interior and defence ministers ordered or contributed to the crimes documented in the report to silence opposition, the investigators said.
Specifically, they had information indicating Maduro ordered the director of the national intelligence service SEBIN to detain opponents “without judicial order”, Francisco Cox of the UN fact-finding mission told a news briefing.
The report was based on more than 270 interviews with victims, witnesses, former officials and lawyers, and confidential documents.
They included the former head of the National Intelligence Service, General Christopher Figuera, whose testimony was corroborated, the report said.