Activist Lorent Gomez Saleh has been freed and secretly transferred by Venezuelan authorities to the international airport of Maiquetía, one hour from Caracas, to be “referred” to Spain.
Arrested since 2014, Saleh was detained by the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin) and was banished by order of the self-proclaimed Truth Commission of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) after a statement released on the government television VTV. The student leader, president of the NGO Operation Freedom and winner of the 2017 Sakharov Prize, was never proven any crime after his audience was deferred more than half a hundred times.
For the mother, Yamile Saleh, it was not possible to meet him, she only received a phone call in which he heard his voice from the prison where Gómez Saleh was detained, waiting to meet his son after knowing unofficially on Friday that the activist would be released.
According to the statement issued by VTV, Saleh was subjected to various psychological evaluations in which he had manifested violent, destructive and suicidal behaviors that put his life at risk.
The exile of Saleh has been described as unconstitutional, by the NGO Penal Forum.
“According to our Constitution, in the final paragraph of Article 50: No act of the Public Power may establish the penalty of estrangement of national territory against any Venezuelan. In other words, banishment is prohibited, Gonzalo Himiob Santomé, director of the NGO, said on Friday.
The official statement says that the released political prisoner will be sent to Spain at the request of his mother Yamile Saleh. However, the news took the woman by surprise, who was on the outskirts of El Helicoide Sebin prison. I did not know anything about this, I thought they were going to give it to me here, but it's free and that's the most important thing.”
The activist was deprived of freedom since the wave of protests in early 2014 and his presentation hearing was deferred 53 times.
Alban case and the pressure on the press
The Union of Workers of the Press of Venezuela (Sntp) denounced on Wednesday October 10 that journalists have received threats for reporting on the death of Councilman Fernando Alban, who died after falling from a tenth floor, according to the official version, while he was under State custody at the Sebin headquarters in Caracas.
The publications in printed newspapers and digital platforms of the country have concentrated on evidencing, for example, the contradictions between the public prosecutor of the Republic, Tarek William Saab, and the Minister of the Interior, Néstor Reverol, who, without an investigation of by means, they affirmed that the suicide had occurred from different places of the Sebin building.
The opposition and the international community question the official version, calling for an impartial investigation.
A group composed of specialists from Brazil, the United States and Mexico was authorized by the Organization of American States (OAS) to create a fund to provide food, medical care and legal assistance in Venezuela.
For its part, the Mercosur Parliament called for an exhaustive investigation into the councilor's death.
Deputy Williams Dávila announced that he will urgently address violations of human rights in Venezuela in the Parlasur.
You are responsible for action or inaction, omission or consent, and from this moment on, you will be persecuted by justice for the rest of your life, Dávila said from Caracas last Wednesday.