Amnesty International says Curacao denying protection to Venezuelan immigrants

Amnesty International says Curacao denying protection to Venezuelan immigrants
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Amnesty International in a report released Monday said that Curacao is denying protection to Venezuelan immigrants.

The human rights group says Venezuelan immigrants have been denied international protection by Curaçaoan and Dutch authorities.

The group states they have documented at least 22 cases where human rights violations have occurred against Venezuelan immigrants including denial of their right to seek asylum. 

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“It’s unacceptable that the Kingdom of the Netherlands has supported the Curaçaoan authorities in rounding up, detaining and deporting people who fled Venezuela in search of safety. Instead of turning a blind eye while people’s human rights are being violated, the Dutch authorities should ensure that they receive the international protection they need,” Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said.

Conditions have not improved since Amnesty International’s last report in 2018 with Venezuelan immigrants forced to sign deportation forms, denied legal counsel, automatically detained for unknown periods of time, put in prison with criminals and shot with rubber bullets.

“Venezuelans told Amnesty International that prison guards subjected them to degrading and inhuman treatment, such as physical and verbal abuse and being forced to leap like frogs while naked,” the group said. 

The group also found Curacao has separated children from their parents and deported the children without the parents’ knowledge. 

The group estimates there are 17,000 Venezuelans in Curacao with irregular migratory status as 5.7 million Venezuelans have fled their country due to food shortages and hyperinflation under socialist President Nicolás Maduro.