US denounces conviction of Leopoldo Lopez
Washington DC: The United States is deeply troubled by the conviction and sentencing of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez.
The US Secretary of State John Kerry issued this statement today emphasising that the conviction by the court raises great concern about the political nature of the judicial process and verdict, and the use of the Venezuelan judicial system to suppress and punish government critics.
Since Mr. Lopez’s arrest and imprisonment in February of 2014, Kerry said, we have underscored our concern with the charges brought against Mr. Lopez—which we consider illegitimate—and we have repeatedly called for his release and for the release of all Venezuelans who are imprisoned for political reasons.
In his statement, Kerry said: “We call on the Government of Venezuela to respect the rights of all political prisoners; and to guarantee fair and transparent public trial, consistent with the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, the Inter-American Democratic Charter, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Venezuela’s Constitution.”