STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

United Nations says 'appalled' by Venezuela prison deaths, urges probe

The United Nations on Thursday voiced outrage at the deaths of 68 people when a fire engulfed police holding cells in Venezuela and urged Caracas to investigate the tragedy.

Published: 29th March 2018 08:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th March 2018 08:26 PM   |  A+A-

United Nations (File | AP)

By AFP

GENEVA: The United Nations on Thursday voiced outrage at the deaths of 68 people when a fire engulfed police holding cells in Venezuela and urged Caracas to investigate the tragedy.

"We are appalled at the horrific deaths of at least 68 people in Venezuela after a fire swept through a police station jail," the UN human rights office said in a statement.

Wednesday's fire in Valencia, in Carabobo State, was thought to have been started deliberately during an attempted jailbreak.

It marks one of the worst tragedies in years in Venezuela's notoriously violent and overcrowded prison system.

"We urge the Venezuelan authorities to carry out a prompt, thorough and effective investigation to establish the cause of these deaths," the UN statement said.

It also called on Caracas to "provide reparations to the victims' families, and, where applicable, identify and bring those responsible to justice."  

Venezuela's attorney general said Thursday that four prosecutors had been named to investigate the blaze, which in addition to detainees killed two women who were visiting the jail.

The rights office voiced concern at reports that "security forces had used tear gas to disperse relatives who had gathered in front of the police station... to demand information about their loved ones."

"We call on the authorities to respect the families' right to information and to peaceful assembly," it said. 

Venezuela's prisons suffer from dire overcrowding and a shortage of basic supplies, struggling under the deepening economic crisis that is gripping the once-wealthy oil-producing country.

"States are guarantors of the lives and physical integrity of persons deprived of their liberty," the rights office pointed out.

It urged Venezuela to bring prison conditions in line with "international human rights norms and standards, including the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

It also called on the country to allow for independent, international monitoring of its prisons.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp