Section: News

Jurists demand Hague inquiry into regime that jailed López ’93

This week may have brought Leopoldo López, a 1993 Kenyon alum and jailed Venezuelan opposition leader, closer to receiving his freedom.

On Tuesday, a group of Venezuelan jurists led by Carlos Vecchio and Juan Carlos Gutiérrez petitioned the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, to investigate the Venezuelan government for crimes against humanity, according to the Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo and other sources.

In September, a Venezuelan jury sentenced López to almost 14 years in prison on charges of inciting civil unrest during a February 2014 protest. Prior to his conviction, López had been detained in Ramo Verde, a military prison where he still resides. López leads the Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) Party, which has been critical of Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s president since the death of longtime leader Hugo Chávez in 2013.

The request submitted at The Hague comes about two weeks after Franklin Nieves, one of the two lead prosecutors in the López case, fled Venezuela and revealed in a YouTube video the country’s executive branch had pressured him into presenting false evidence to secure López’s conviction.

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