The International Criminal Court (ICC) is opening a preliminary examination in Venezuela prompted by reports of security forces using excessive violence against demonstrators since 2017.
The Hague-based court announced on Thursday that it would be looking into allegations regarding the arrest of thousands of members of the opposition, as well as abuses they faced during detainment.
The troubled South American nation has been engulfed by protests since April, as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has moved to consolidate power.
Report says in spite of having the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela suffers from inflation and shortages of basic goods.
In an Aug. 2017 report, the UN Human Rights Office found that excessive force by security forces to halt demonstrations and pro-Maduro armed groups was responsible for no less than 70 deaths.
The ICC, based on information gathered during the preliminary probe, can decide to open an official investigation at a later point.