Speaking in Geneva, UN human rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters a UN team had conducted some 135 interviews while investigating 124 deaths amid Venezuela’s months of unrest.

The security forces were allegedly responsible for at least 46 deaths, while armed pro-government groups were reportedly responsible for 27 killings. Shamdasani said it was unclear who the perpetrators in the remaining deaths could be.

She then called on the government in Caracas to de-escalate the situation.

Venezuela has grappled with deadly political and economic crises as low crude-oil prices have forced the government to cut back or eliminate its socialist programs.

The crises have fueled public anger and fed massive protests that have left at least 100 dead since April.

Venezuela’s controversial Constituent Assembly opened on Friday despite objections from opposition parties and criticism from the U.S., the European Union and the Vatican.

The assembly, elected last weekend in a vote marked by deadly violence and allegations of fraud, has supreme powers that allows it to rewrite the Constitution and dissolve state institutions. 

Detentions

Shamdasani also said at least 1,958 cases of injuries had been recorded during the demonstrations, although the actual number of people injured may be considerably higher.

"While no official data is available on the number of detentions, reliable estimates suggest that between April 1, when the mass demonstrations began, and 31 July, more than 5,051 people have been arbitrarily detained. More than 1,000 reportedly remain in detention," she added.

The UN urged the authorities in Venezuela to immediately end the excessive use of force against demonstrators, to halt arbitrary detentions and to release all those arbitrarily detained.

Anadolu Agency