Activists urge U.N. rights council to expel Venezuela, urge 'robust response' to Maduro address on Monday

GENEVA, Sept. 4, 2017 – A cross-regional coalition of 12 human rights activists from Latin America, the U.S. and Europe, today called on the U.N Human Rights Council to convene an urgent meeting to finally suspend the membership of Venezuela, which was re-elected in 2015.

UN Watch expressed “shock” that the U.N. Human Rights Council is allowing Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro to open its session on Monday, September 11, 2017.
“The dictator will use the U.N. podium to mock the world, as he continues to starve, beat, torture, jail and kill his own people with impunity,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based non-governmental watchdog organization.
“We urge member states not to allow the world’s highest human rights body to be abused in this way.”
“Instead, we urge democracies to join together in a robust response. Before Maduro speaks on Monday, Peru on behalf of the Lima Group of nations, supported by the European Union and the United States, should move for an Urgent Debate, and then adopt a version of this resolution (español) to finally expel the Maduro regime from the UNHRC, and to establish a Commission of Inquiry to hold perpetrators of gross human rights abuses to account,” said Neuer.
“To do any less on Monday will make a mockery of the United Nations, and show contempt for Venezuela’s millions of victims.”
“Regrettably, despite UN rights commissioner Zeid’s recent call for Council action, all we have been hearing are rumors of a joint statement by a minority of countries, which is far short of a Council resolution.”
The draft resolution was submitted by UN Watch, an accredited NGO at the Council, and will be circulated by the UN as an official document on Monday.
UN Watch has also launched an online petition to pressure democracies to act.
Human Rights Activists and MPs Supporting UNHRC Action to Remove Venezuela

  • Thor Halvorssen, President, Human Rights Foundation
  • Garry Kasparov, Russian dissident & former world chess champion, Chairman, Human Rights Foundation
  • Yang Jianli, Chinese dissident and former political prisoner, Founder and President of Initiatives for China
  • Gabriel Salvia, Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de América Latina
  • Hillel Neuer, Executive Director, United Nations Watch
  • Leandro Querido, Executive Director, Transparencia Electoral
  • Micaela Hierro Dori, CICES Asociación Civil
  • Roberto Ortiz Ortiz, Students for Liberty (Bolivia)
  • Camila Cárdenas Bowles, Students for Liberty (Bolivia)
  • Moisés Castellanos, Desarrollo de las Nuevas Generaciones (El Salvador)
  • Jessica Mamani Ortiz, Comité Civico Juvenil Departamental de Tarija (Bolivia)
  • Luis Miguel González, President, Centro de Estudiantes de Derecho Universidad Central de Venezuela (Venezuela)
  • Joël Rubinfeld, President, Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism
  • Michael Danby, Member of Parliament, Australia
  • Solomon Passy, former Foreign Minister, Bulgaria, former Chairman-in-Office, OSCE
  • Marek Balicki, former Member of Parliament, Poland
  • Baroness Ruth Deech, Member of House of Lords, UK
  • Latin American Youth Network for Democracy

UN Watch