AROUND 100 Venezuelan expatriates gathered on Bournemouth beach to protest about human rights in their former country.

The protesters used torches to spell out an SOS message as part of an international event demanding intervention in the Latin American country.

Victor Bolivar said the government had been cracking down on freedom of speech, closing newspapers and intimidating political opponents.

“I know personally a lot of people who have been shot and the pressure is incredible,” he said. “Venezuela is the country with the biggest reserves of oil in the world,” he said.

“It’s a rich country where a lot of poor people live. The division of wealth is really bad.”