Statement by John Kirby: Lack of Judicial Independence in Venezuela

One of the prosecutors in Mr. Leopoldo Lopez’s case stated recently that he was pressured to pursue the case based on illegitimate charges and false evidence. If true, these statements highlight the lack of judicial independence and adherence to due process of law in Venezuela.

We call on the Venezuelan government 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.

And we renew our calls for the Venezuelan government to release all Venezuelans who are imprisoned for political reasons, including Leopoldo Lopez.