Venezuelan Prison Guards “Violently” Raid López, Ceballos’s Cells


EspañolOn Tuesday, April 21, a group of 13 “heavily armed men” violently searched the cell of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo López on two occasions, without the presence of prosecutors or his defense lawyers, his wife, Lilian Tintori, confirmed via Twitter.

“Alert: My lawyer informed me that they searched [Leopoldo] twice yesterday, violently and arbitrarily.”

Tintori reported that while López was in court, guards at the Ramo Verde military jail also placed former San Cristobal Mayor Daniel Ceballos and current Caracas Metropolitan Mayor Antonio Ledezma in solitary confinement in order to “violently inspect” their cells.

“Thirteen heavily armed men searched the cells of Leopoldo López and Daniel Ceballos from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m.”

López’s wife highlighted the risk that the guards could have left incriminating evidence in their cells, writing “the worst is not what they took — books and personal objects — but what they could have planted.”

“Alert: The worst is not what they took, books and other personal objects, but what they could have planted!”

Patricia Gutiérrez, Ceballos’s wife, highlighted that the incident happened only a day after the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) ordered Venezuela take measures to ensure the protection of López and Ceballos.

“This shows that they’re at the mercy of a repressive state that can commit any rights violation,” Gutiérrez added.

López was jailed in February 2014 on charges of inciting violence and arson during anti-government protests. His lawyers and family members have denounced that his ongoing trial has been “riddled with irregularities.”

Ceballos was meanwhile condemned by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice for refusing to follow instructions to dismantle protest barricades. Despite having completed his one-year sentence earlier in April, another tribunal has opened a separate case against him, meaning he remains in custody.

On Monday, the IACHR urged the Venezuelan government to “take the necessary measures to preserve the personal integrity of Leopoldo López and Daniel Ceballos,” and to “ensure that the conditions of their detention meet international standards.”

The international human-rights body said that the pair were facing a “serious and urgent” threat to their well-being.

Venezuela withdrew from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in 2013, citing interference in Venezuelan sovereignty. The IACHR can still dictate resolutions concerning the country, but Caracas is under no obligation to comply.

Source: El Nacional.

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