Concern over "attacks" against human rights workers in Venezuela

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Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Concern has been raised by the United Nations over "intimidation, threats and attacks" against human rights defenders in Venezuela.

Speaking in Geneva on Thursday, the UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, also raised concerns about the independence of the judiciary in Venezuela.

Daniel Dickinson has more:

Venezuela's President, Nicolas Maduro was in Geneva to address the Human Rights Council after his country was recently re-elected to membership of the UN body.

Speaking in advance of the president, Zeid said that a number of UN human rights bodies had raised "serious concerns" about the independence of the justice system in Venezuela.

"The Human Rights Committee, also recently expressed concerns which I share about intimidation, threats and attacks against journalists, human rights defenders and lawyers. I take this opportunity to urge Venezuela to comply with the recommendations of these human rights bodies."

He urged Venezuela to stop pressuring these groups going about their work.

President Maduro said that gaining re-election to the HRC was a "vote of confidence" in his country.

He added that the rights of all vulnerable groups were being protected under the constitution, and criticism was tantamount to an "imperialist attack" on Venezuela's democracy.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1'06"

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