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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Venezuela hauls protesters before military tribunals to face up to 30 years behind bars


Jhonny Reyes's son left the house to join students in an anti-government protest a few days ago, one of hundreds of thousands of angry people who have flooded Venezuela's streets in demonstrations often blocked by police and soldiers. He wound up in front of a military tribunal, accused of inciting rebellion and facing up to 30 years behind bars. Reyes, who is blind, found himself pleading for information outside Punto Fijo naval base with relatives of 17 other young adults detained in the same demonstration in the western city of Coro. Many had obtained private attorneys, but none was allowed inside to defend the detainees, mostly students studying music and medicine. Instead, the youths were given a public defender and ordered transferred to a military jail near Caracas, a more than six-hour drive away. "What I can't understand is why they're putting him in a military tribunal when he's a civilian," Reyes said, his voice hoarse with exasperation. More…

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