Monday, 28 May, 2018

Trapped in a Venezuelan prison riot

Relatives of prisoners watch in a mobile phone a video released by the prisoners outside of Venezuelan political police headquarters SEBIN in Caracas Venezuela on Wednesday Prison where Josh Holt is being held captive reportedly under attack
Kenny Thornton | 17 May, 2018, 16:47

A Utah man imprisoned in Venezuela is pleading for People' assist getting out of a Caracas jail the place he has been held for 2 years with out trial.

"Please my fellow Americans don't allow me to continue suffering in Venezuela", Holt said in a written message, also posted on his Facebook page.

Holt, of Riverton, has been incarcerated in Venezuela since 2016 after he traveled there to marry his fiance.

The couple were arrested at her family's apartment in Caracas after police alleged he was stockpiling weapons - an assault weapon and grenades - accusations which have been refuted by Mr Holt and his family. "The Venezuelan government is directly responsible for their security and we will hold them responsible if anything happens to them", the embassy tweeted in Spanish. "We need help from the people of Venezuela and also the people of the United States". "They say they're doing things but I'm still here", said Holt in the video posted on his Facebook page.

Prisoners started a riot that was soon taken over by the few inmates who claim to have been imprisoned on political charges, including Daniel Ceballos and Lorent Saleh, reported Eligio Rojas, journalist for Ultimas Noticias. They're outside, they're trying to break in.

The Holt family released a statement through Trujillo, saying they were both "deeply troubled and concerned" about the riots.

While he did not provide details about the disturbance, or what sparked it, he said the delegates offered to coordinate with prison and judicial authorities to address the inmates' demands.

Photos on social media show the swollen face of Mr Sanabria, a student held in El Helicoide pending trial ever since he took part in mass anti-government protest in 2014.

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Rights groups and Maduro's opponents have said several hundred political prisoners have been unfairly jailed.

Sen. Orrin Hatch's office in a statement Wednesday said Hatch had been speaking with Holt's family, President Donald Trump's administration and others in Venezuela.

"I'm calling on the people of America".

On social media, men identifying themselves as inmates said the detention centre, 'has been taken over peacefully by all the political prisoners and all the prisoners who are abducted here, who are tortured daily'.

The Trump administration has warned that it could put crippling oil sanctions on Venezuela if Maduro goes ahead with what the USA and others consider a sham presidential election Sunday.

The US embassy released a photo of Todd Robinson, the top American diplomat in Venezuela, leaving the foreign ministry and saying he had received no information from the Government about the "riot".

"Joshua Holt and other USA citizens are in danger", it said in a tweet in Spanish.

"He remains focused on Josh's safety as we work to bring him home on humanitarian grounds", Whitlock said.

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