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Maduro’s Dictatorship Seeks to Criminalize NGOs, Warns Amnesty International

Dictadura Maduro busca criminalizar ONG, advierte Amnistía Internacional, EFE

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Amnesty International issued a worldwide alert for the project approved in first discussion in the National Assembly elected in 2020 to regulate the operation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Through the alert issued this Wednesday, January 25, Amnesty International denounced that on January 24, the Chavista-controlled Parliament took what, according to civil society claims, is a first step to control, restrict and ultimately criminalize, impede and dissolve NGOs operating in Venezuela.

The project seeks, among other things, that NGOs register in a government system and declare where their funding comes from.

During the debate to approve the bill in first discussion, the parlamentarianand first vice-president of the PSUV, Diosdado Cabello, indicated that he already has a list of 62 organizations, which according to him, are financed by the U.S. to destabilize the government of Nicolás Maduro.  

Amnesty International denounces plan to criminalize Venezuelan NGOs

“If this bill passes, all Venezuelan NGOs will have to comply with abusive measures or face criminal prosecution. Measures include disclosing information on their funding, staff, and governance, and would violate the rights to association, privacy, and others, putting NGOs and their beneficiaries at grave risk of criminalization and reprisals,” Amnesty warned.

The organization urged pro-Chavez authorities to “put a stop to this bill and cease all attacks on civil society.”