IFLRY STATEMENT – The International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY) is deeply concerned by international reports emerging from Venezuela during recent days. The peaceful protests that began on February 12 in various Venezuelan cities have escalated to violent clashes and have resulted in unnecessary deaths, detentions, and arrests on the part of the Venezuelan government.

IFLRY condemns in the strongest possible terms the reported crackdown by government authorities on peaceful protesters, particularly students, which have sought to highlight: curbs on democratic liberties, inherent social and economic inequality, and prevalent levels of crime. The right to protest and freedom of expression are fundamental human rights.

IFLRY is further disturbed by the alleged blocking of Twitter and other forms of social media. As state-owned and privately held media in Venezuela are subject to gross censorship and intimidation, many Venezuelans rely on the Internet and social media to stay informed. Any effort by the authorities to blackout access to information must be severely rebuked.

Young Liberals around the world call for the release of civic activists, student organizers, and opposition leaders detained without due process. IFLRY believes the Venezuelan government has acted harshly and with a level of severity not in line with democratic norms. IFLRY calls on its partners worldwide to press for a peaceful and democratic resolution and will further continue to highlight any reported abuses.

For comments and questions: www.iflry.org – office@iflry.org

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