News Daily Spot: Elections in Venezuela: UN urges the Government to allow peaceful political participation in december 6

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Elections in Venezuela: UN urges the Government to allow peaceful political participation in december 6

Two rapporteurs of the United Nations today to urge the Government of Venezuela to ensure the safety of all citizens in the legislative elections on Sunday and urged avoid any obstacle to peaceful public participation.

"Fully restore the space for freedom of expression, assembly and association and to ensure the accountability of those responsible for the incidents of violence are key to easing political tensions in Venezuela, and to ensure democratic governance of the country" rapporteurs asked in a statement.
Text signed special rapporteurs on freedom of expression, David Kaye, and the right to freedom of association, Maina Kiai, urging the authorities to allow citizens to express their political views without fear of reprisal.

"The authorities must ensure the personal safety of all those who aspire to exchange ideas and opinions in the days before the electoral process," said the experts.

The statement recalled the recent murder of opposition politician Luis Manuel Diaz, during an act of election campaign in the state of Guarico, and claims that there have been other "attacks in various peaceful political events and electoral nature."

"The killing of Luis Manuel Diaz is a very worrying sign of the deterioration of the environment for political participation in Venezuela", experts warned.

"A peaceful electoral process requires at least the Government to guarantee the safety of all politicians-particularly for acts regardless of what your political views," they added.

The UN experts also mentioned that these attacks show only "the tip of the iceberg" and "emblematically reflect the seriousness of the systematic challenges to political participation in Venezuela".

"A wide range of restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association have been imposed in recent years in Venezuela," Kaye said.

"This is it limited space for free and open debate necessary in any electoral process," he complained.
Meanwhile, Kiai stressed the need to ensure the right of everyone to assemble peacefully and express their views publicly before and after the elections.

"Democracy requires constant commitment to create an environment in which people can express political views, to organize for political purposes and assemble peacefully without fear of reprisal."
Experts also pointed out "arbitrary detention" of opposition leaders such as Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma, emphasizing that democratic debate can not be opened when politicians are arrested arbitrarily.

The Special Rapporteur on freedom of speech also emphasized that restrictions on the media have created additional obstacles to public debate.

"Civil and criminal lawsuits against independent media and journalists have a chilling effect clear. Efforts to punish the dissemination of information on certain issues and threats to revoke broadcast licenses are incompatible with international standards, "Kaye.

Experts have written to the authorities expressing concern Venezuela and reiterating its willingness to work with them in the future. EFE

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