UN experts demand answers about Venezuela violence

UN experts demand answers about Venezuela violence

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GENEVA (AP) — United Nations human rights experts are demanding answers from Venezuela's government about the use of violence and imprisonment in a crackdown on widespread demonstrations.

Six experts with the U.N.'s Human Rights Council have written to President Nicolas Maduro's administration asking "for prompt clarification of allegations of arbitrary detention and excessive use of force and violence against protesters, journalists and media workers during the recent wave of protests in the country."

A statement Thursday by special rapporteurs Frank La Rue, Maina Kiai, Mads Andenas, Juan Méndez, Christof Heyns and Margaret Sekaggya said the allegations must be "urgently and thoroughly investigated."

The Venezuelan economy's downward spiral helped trigger a wave of protests against the hand-picked successor of late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in mid-February that have claimed more than a dozen lives.

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