Venezuela: Two Protesters Killed, More Than 500 Arrested
In response to the deaths of two protesters and the arrests of more than 500 during nationwide demonstrations against the Maduro government, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The arrest and continued detention of hundreds of Venezuelans without just cause or due process, in addition to two deaths, represents the government’s blatant disregard for the right to peaceful assembly,” said Carlos Ponce, director for Latin America programs. “The government’s actions undermine the freedom of Venezuelans and cement the Maduro dictatorship. The government should immediately release all those arrested during the protests, and cease imprisoning peaceful protesters.”
Tens of thousands of citizens marched in demonstrations across Venezuela on April 19 in the largest of a series of protests held after the Venezuelan Supreme Court attempted to usurp the National Assembly’s legislative powers several weeks ago. Two protesters, and a member of the Venezuelan National Guard were killed, bringing the protests’ death toll to seven in the month of April alone. At least 565 protesters were arrested yesterday, and at least 330 remained in detention this morning, according to Venezuelan watchdog group Foro Penal.
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.