UN High Commissioner expresses concern about human rights violations by Colombian state security forces

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Video of Bachelet speaking about Colombia.

On June 21, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet presented an Update to the 1st Meeting of the 47th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

High Commissioner Bachelet stated:

“In Colombia, nationwide protests have been ongoing since 28 April, against a background of a pre-existing economic crisis and deep social inequalities aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

My Office has expressed deep concern at allegations of serious human rights violations by State security forces.

While most demonstrations have been peaceful, several instances of violence have been recorded. My Office condemns all forms of violence, calls for full respect for the right to peaceful assembly, and encourages dialogue to resolve the crisis.

From 28 April to 16 June we registered allegations of 56 deaths, including 54 civilians and two police officers, in the context of the protests – mainly in the city of Cali – as well as 49 alleged victims of sexual violence.

My Office is also documenting human rights abuses by non-State actors and the effects of sustained roadblocks on human rights.

I welcome the President’s announcement of a zero tolerance policy for abuses by security forces and urge the authorities to ensure prompt, effective and independent investigations into all allegations of human rights violations and abuses committed since 28 April – and that those responsible are held accountable.

The full implementation of the Peace Agreement, including support for the historical transitional justice process, remains key in response to the current unrest.

Fulfilling these vital promises to the people of Colombia will contribute to addressing root causes and increasing public trust in the authorities.”

The video of her comments can be seen here.

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