Geneva, May 10 IANS | 5 months ago

The UN has criticised the excessive use of force by the Venezuelan government to break up peaceful protests in Caracas.

"We unequivocally condemn all violence by all sides in Venezuela. We are particularly concerned at the reported excessive use of force by the authorities in response to protests," Rupert Colville, spokesman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, said Friday.

Security forces removed, among others, a movement camped peacefully in front of the UN Development Programme office in Caracas, he said.

The UN has received direct complaints from demonstrators, their families and attorneys, some referring to the lack of information about the whereabouts of those arrested when the protesters' camps were wiped out over the past two days, Colville said.

Since Feb 12, Venezuela has been experiencing a series of anti-government protests, which on occasions became violent and so far have left more than 40 people dead and hundreds arrested.

Those dead include both opponents and supporters of the government, as well as police and bystanders.

Among the hundreds of people in custody are members of the security forces accused in connection with two of the deaths.

(Posted on 10-05-2014)

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