Transfer of Political Prisoner Ceballos Raises Concerns for His Safety
In response to the transfer of Venezuelan political prisoner Daniel Ceballos from the Ramo Verde military prison to the General Penitentiary in San Juan de Los Morros on May 23, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The transfer of political prisoner Daniel Ceballos shows a stunning disregard by the Maduro government for his safety and basic rights,” said Carlos Ponce, Program Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “At San Juan de Los Morros, Ceballos will be housed with individuals charged with violent crimes such as murder and kidnapping in what is widely considered one of the most dangerous prisons in Venezuela. Ceballos was sent to prison on politically motivated charges; he should be released immediately.”
Daniel Ceballos, a former mayor, was arrested in March of 2014 and sentenced to 12 months in prison on charges of inciting rebellion for failing to enforce a court order aimed at halting anti-government protests. On April 20, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights called on Venezuelan authorities to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of Daniel Ceballos and fellow prisoner Leopoldo Lopez. Ceballos recently participated in primary elections and was selected by a wide margin to be a candidate for deputy in the Venezuelan National Assembly.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.