Amnesty International has received a dozen accounts of torture committed by Venezuelan government-security forces since protests broke out in February. So far 37 people have died and 550 protesters have been wounded.
The Amnesty report, which has been released in full only in Spanish, says some detainees spent ”hours on their knees or feet in detention centers,” according to Bloomberg News. Other protesters reported that they had been sexually abused and received threats of murder.
“Inhuman and degrading treatment inflicted on detainees appears to be intended to punish them for their involvement, or suspected involvement, in the protests,” says the report.
The Venezuelan government is currently investigating two cases of torture and 75 cases of “cruel treatment.” The Public Prosecutor’s office said that 17 members of state security forces had been arrested.
“Venezuela risks one of the worst threats to the rule of law in decades if the different political forces do not commit to fully respecting human rights,” according to the report.