March 20, 2019 / 1:52 PM / 9 months ago

UN rights boss decries Venezuela crackdown; sanctions may worsen crisis

GENEVA, March 20 (Reuters) - The U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday that Venezuelan security forces, backed by pro-government militias, have cracked down on peaceful dissent, with excessive use of force, killings and torture documented by her office.

Bachelet, addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council, also voiced concern that the latest U.S. sanctions on financial transfers linked to the sale of Venezuelan oil “may contribute to aggravating the economic crisis”.

Venezuelan authorities had failed to acknowledge the extent and severity of the health and food crisis that has driven more than 3 million Venezuelans to flee abroad and they had adopted “insufficient” measures, she told the Geneva forum. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Tom Miles)

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