The European Union thanks the Fact Finding Mission for their report and update to this Council.
The findings by the Fact Finding Mission are highly disconcerting. Its conclusions have conformed some of our worst assumptions: There is reasonable ground to believe that not only did murder, arbitrary detention, torture, sexual violence, enforced disappearance and other inhumane acts take place with authorities failing to take preventive and repressive measures to stop such violations, but that these may have been committed with the complicity of high-level authorities. The report indicates that there is reasonable ground to believe that most of the violations and crimes documented were committed as part of a wide and systematic attack directed against the civilian population and that they thus may amount to crimes against humanity. (para160).
The EU condemns the grave human rights violations documented in the report of the Fact Finding Mission. We call on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to fulfill its obligations under human rights law and to immediately carry out prompt, effective, thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigations into the human rights violations and crimes described in the present report. We also urge the Venezuelan government to cooperate with all relevant international human rights and accountability mechanisms, including the FFM and the ICC.
While calling for the immediate release of those arbitrarily detained, the EU underscores the need for urgent measures to ensure appropriate detention conditions and due process guarantees for detainees. We also encourage the authorities to continue discussions on the opening a fully-fledged OHCHR country office in Venezuela.
Let me end by underscoring that the EU remains committed to the reinstatement of democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights in Venezuela. With accountability and justice for victims being a priority for the EU, we strongly supports the renewal of the mandate of the Fact Finding Mission.
I thank you!