Venezuela political prisoners 'revolt' at Caracas jail

People shout

A video posted on the Twitter account of a political movement opposing to President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday afternoon shows a group of men identifying themselves as political prisoners saying they stormed El Helicoide ("the Helix"), the notorious headquarters of the country's secret services (Sebin) where hundreds of people are detained, demanding freedom and rights to political prisoners. I need your help to get me out of this place. "This has been taken over peacefully by all the political prisoners and all the prisoners who are abducted here, who are tortured daily", a man said in one of the videos. "They say that they are doing things, but I'm still here and now my life is threatened". In March, rioting and a fire inside of cells at a Venezuelan police station left 68 people dead. How long do I have to suffer here?

In three short clips, a visibly distraught Holt makes a plea for help from his fellow Americans, and suggests that his patience is running out with the USA government after close to two years behind bars.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm the origin of the videos or circumstances under which they were made.

The 26-year-old traveled to Venezuela in 2016 to marry a fellow Mormon he met on the internet.

"Please my fellow Americans don't allow me to continue suffering in Venezuela", Holt said in a written message, also posted on his Facebook page. Shortly afterward, the couple was arrested at her household's condominium after police alleged he was stockpiling weapons. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who has been working with the Venezuelan government to release Holt, said Hatch has been in contact with the Trump administration as well as with Holt's family and other Venezuelan contacts and they are all working to return him home safely.

Relatives of inmates react outside a detention centre, where a riot occurred, in Caracas.

However, the country's Chief Prosecutor Tarek Saab tweeted: 'In the face of the events that happened in the Sebin headquarters at the Helicoide, we sent a commission of the prosecutor's office to the facility.

The relatives of prisoners shout slogans against presidential candidate Javier Bertucci outside the Political Police headquarters and jail in Caracas Venezuela Thursday
Venezuela political prisoners 'revolt' at Caracas jail

Activists said the incident had been precipitated by the beating of activist Gregory Sanabria from the state of Tachira.

The US embassy released a photo of Todd Robinson, the top American diplomat in Venezuela, leaving the foreign ministry and saying he had received no information from the Government about the "riot".

Maduro, who succeeded Hugo Chavez as president in 2013, is bidding for reelection on Sunday. The prison is also home to a large contingent of SEBIN agents as well as 54 political prisoners. Maduro has said all jailed activists were being held on legitimate charges of violence and subversion.

The U.S. Embassy stated in a message on social media that the Venezuelan authorities is straight accountable for Holt's security.

The US embassy in Caracas tweeted that it was "very anxious about the rebellion".

The turmoil renewed calls from US government officials and Holt's family for the imprisoned Utahn to be freed on humanitarian grounds.

"The Government of Venezuela is directly responsible for their safety and will be held responsible if anything happens to them."

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