Rights groups call for probe into Venezuela prison riot that left 46 dead

AFP

Human rights groups have demanded an investigation into the death of 46 inmates inside a Venezuelan prison.

The UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCR) took to Twitter to raise attention to the prison riots at the Los Llanos penitentiary in Portuguesa that also left 75 inmates injured.

They expressed "grave concern" about the incident and questioned the official line that it was a failed escape attempt.

"We urge the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation, tackle overcrowding, and guarantee basic rights," the office said.

Some reports claimed that the riots broke out after prison authorities refused families of inmates to bring food from outside as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the country's prisons minister, Iris Varela, put the death toll at 17, adding that "those responsible will be judged in accordance with the law".

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