Colombia indispensable urgently betterment however it polices protests successful the aftermath of demonstrations earlier this twelvemonth successful which respective radical were killed oregon injured, the UN quality rights office, OHCHR, said successful a study published connected Wednesday.  

The study documents assorted instances of unnecessary oregon disproportionate usage of unit by constabulary officers during wide demonstrations that began connected 28 April and continued for respective weeks. 

The protests were portion of a nationalist onslaught against the country’s long-standing economical and societal equalities, galore of which were worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

46 deaths verified 

During the play from 28 April to 31 July, OHCHR’s bureau successful Colombia received much than 60 allegations of deaths successful the discourse of the protests.  So far, it has verified the deaths of 46 people: 44 civilians and 2 constabulary officers.  Most of the documented deaths, 76 per cent, were from gunshot wounds. 

The Colombia bureau conducted much than 620 interviews with victims and witnesses, and examined 83 videos, including mobile telephone footage of the protests and related incidents.  Staff besides held immoderate 878 meetings with authorities officials, civilian nine representatives and protestors. 

Based connected this analysis, determination are tenable grounds to judge constabulary officers were liable for astatine slightest 28 of the deaths, the study said, with members of the National Police’s Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD) progressive successful astatine slightest 10. 

Non-State actors are believed to person killed 10 people, portion determination is insufficient accusation to find the apt perpetrators of 8 further deaths. 

Some 60 reported cases of intersexual unit allegedly committed by the police, are besides included successful the report. So far, 16 person been verified by OHCHR. 

Disproportionate usage of force 

The study details instances of unnecessary oregon disproportionate usage of unit by constabulary officers, particularly ESMAD members, to disperse peaceful protests and blockades. Armed individuals besides attacked and fired connected demonstrators without the information forces intervening. 

OHCHR underlined the value of instrumentality enforcement officers abiding by principles specified arsenic legality, precaution and necessity, erstwhile policing demonstrations, with firearms lone utilized arsenic a measurement of past edifice erstwhile determination is an imminent menace to beingness oregon of superior injury.  

All those reportedly progressive successful causing wounded oregon death, including State officials, should look prompt, independent, impartial and transparent investigations, portion victims should beryllium ensured the close to afloat reparation.  Steps taken truthful acold towards probe and prosecution person been welcomed, according to the report.   

Protect quality rights 

The study besides underscored the State’s work to support quality rights without discrimination, and work to facilitate people’s close of peaceful assembly, concluding that Colombia failed to support a harmless situation for protesters connected respective occasions.  

Another interest was the grade to which protestors were criminalized and stigmatized, including by the media linking them to vandalism oregon adjacent alleging acts of terrorism, OHCHR said.  Human rights defenders and journalists were besides attacked during the protests.  

The study besides documents unit and harm by immoderate protesters and different individuals, which OHCHR has consistently condemned, though noting that the bulk of the protests were peaceful. 

Lessons learned 

It further details areas wherever investigations into alleged quality rights violations person made progress, and welcomes the Colombian Government’s stated zero tolerance of violations by information forces.  

Under lessons learned is simply a proposal for the authorities to instrumentality enactment to guarantee those successful complaint of managing protests, peculiarly the National Police, lone edifice to dispersal measures which are strictly successful enactment with planetary quality rights norms and standards. 

Noting Government betterment proposals, the study calls for a wide nationalist statement connected constabulary reform, including perchance transferring the unit from the Ministry of Defence to civilian control, and improving interior oversight and accountability mechanisms.