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Friends of a Free Venezuela: Wife of Venezuela's most prominent political prisoner speaks out
Lilian Tintori, the wife of Venezuelan opposition leader and political prisoner Leopoldo Lopez, today challenged President Nicolas Maduro
to release her husband and more than 100 other political prisoners,
given the government's failure to produce evidence or respect their
human rights. Tintori, along with Leopoldo's mother, father and two
sisters, appeared at the National Press Club as part of an ongoing
international tour that has included stops in Latin America and Europe.
one in the world should doubt why Leopoldo is in prison. President
Maduro is afraid of him," said Tintori. "My husband needs the support
of all countries around the world that stand for freedom. We need a
clear message sent to President Maduro and the Government of Venezuela that it cannot trample on the rights of its people with impunity."
Tintori was joined by Lopez's international human rights lawyer Jared Genser,
who released a white paper documenting numerous violations of legal
due process and human rights that have been committed before and since
Lopez's arrest on February 19, 2014.
an exhaustive review of the government's case and actions against Mr.
Lopez, this is as clear cut a case of political injustice you will find
anywhere in the world," said Genser. "The prosecution and judiciary has
acted on the direct orders of the political leadership; they have
presented no evidence against Mr. Lopez; they have not allowed
eyewitnesses to speak and they have rejected numerous items of evidence
including video proving Mr. Lopez's innocence; there has not been even
the pretense of due process."
the world acts to hold the Venezuelan government accountable, it will
continue to lock up its dissenters with impunity," said Genser.
Lopez's trial was scheduled to begin this week, on July 23,
although past court dates have been postponed with little warning or
explanation. Lopez has been held in isolation in a military prison
since his arrest. The government has charged him with public
incitement, damage to property, fire damage and "association for