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Irwin Cotler, MP



Statement on the First Anniversary of Leopoldo López’s Imprisonment

Posted on February 18, 2015

Mr. Speaker, one year ago today, Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López was arrested as part of a crackdown on peaceful protests that left 43 dead, 3,000 detained, and scores of political prisoners.

His trial has been a sham in which the judge has allowed over 100 prosecution witnesses while denying defence testimony. His imprisonment has been cruel and inhumane. Last week, a dozen armed men wearing ski masks destroyed the contents of his cell and moved him to a small isolation unit with no toilet or running water.
After his wife, Lilian Tintori, appeared before our foreign affairs subcommittee on international human rights, the subcommittee passed a unanimous motion condemning:
– the arbitrary and illegal detention and imprisonment of Mr. López and the violations of his fundamental freedoms and rights to a fair trial as guaranteed under international law and the Venezuelan constitution;
I ask all members to join this call for the release of Leopoldo López and all political prisoners in Venezuela, and to urge the Government of Venezuela to respect democracy human rights, and the rule of law for all its people.