[Venezuelanalysis.com's Chris Carlson reports on statements made by Venezuela’s representative to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) of the Organization of American States (OAS), Germán Saltrón, about the IAHRC. Saltrón accused the commission of being “biased” because it only takes positions of opposition groups into account. --Ed]
Venezuela Says Inter-American Human Rights Commission Lacks Objectivity
By Chris Carlson - Venezuelanalysis.com
March 14, 2007
Merida, Venezuela, March 14, 2007 (venezuelanalysis.com)— Venezuela’s representative to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) of the Organization of American States (OAS) accused the commission of being “biased” because it only takes positions of opposition groups into account. The representative, Germán Saltrón, made the remarks at a IAHRC meeting last week, at which Venezuela’s human rights situation was discussed.
At the request of the Venezuelan government, the IAHRC met for three sessions at its headquarters in Washington to evaluate the human rights situation in the South American nation. The CIDH has frequently criticized the situation in Venezuela which they consider to stem from the policies of the government. But the Venezuelan government has reiterated on several occasions the biased nature of the inter-American panel.
The Commission considers that there exists a "gradual deterioration of the state of law that has compromised the full respect for human rights," and that there is a hostile environment for dissident political participation, and restrictions on freedom of expression. In the three sessions, testimony was heard from different NGOs and other organizations, along with a delegation from the Venezuelan government. Groups like Public Space, and the Andres Bello Catholic University Center for Human Rights made accusations about the "situation of the right of free expression in Venezuela."
In response, the delegation from the Venezuelan government presented the legal motives that the government has to not renew the broadcast license of Radio Caracas Television (RCTV). The delegation maintained that there was no political motive, but rather that the decision was made in conformity of the law. They stressed that they were not closing the Radio Caracas television station, but rather they would not renew their concession that expires in May.
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