Venezuela Should Stop Prosecution of Opposition Leaders

Washington

In response to the Venezuelan government’s continued imprisonment of Leopoldo Lopez, Daniel Ceballos, and other political leaders, and the recently announced criminal charges against former legislator Maria Corina Machado, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“The Venezuelan government’s apparent decision to ignore repeated calls from domestic and international groups, including the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, to release Leopoldo Lopez and other political prisoners is a clear violation of these individuals’ constitutional rights and confirms the political motivations behind these prolonged detentions,” said Robert Herman, vice president for regional programs. “Rather than reconsider its authoritarian tactics in the face of such criticism, the government has accelerated its assault on opposition leaders, most recently through ludicrous conspiracy charges against former National Assembly member Maria Corina Machado. As Venezuela prepares to join the UN Security Council in January, it is worth reminding the government of its stated commitment to uphold a range of universal human rights principles, among them basic respect for political pluralism and dissenting opinions."

Venezuela is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2014, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2014, and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2014.

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.

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