August 30, 2017 / 10:05 AM / a year ago

Democracy "barely alive" in Venezuela, UN rights chief says

GENEVA, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Democracy is “barely alive” in Venezuela, where President Nicolas Maduro has repressed months of protests and consolidated power, the United Nations human rights chief said on Wednesday.

U.N. High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, whose office presented a report on Wednesday documenting extensive human rights violations committed by Venezuelan security forces, was asked whether the country was now a dictatorship.

“I think we would argue that over the course of time we have seen a erosion of democratic life in Venezuela,” Zeid told a news conference. “It must be barely alive, if still alive, is the way I would look at it.”

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by John Stonestreet

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