Thursday, May 19

The Spanish Ruperto Sánchez is released after 7 years in a Venezuelan prison


Caracas

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Nicolás Maduro’s regime released this Thursday afternoon the Venezuelan military man with Spanish nationality, Ruperto Sánchez, after 7 years imprisoned for alleged military rebellion against the Chavista government. The information was released by the NGO Foro Penal, in charge of defending political prisoners in the South American country.

According to his defense, Sánchez formally served his entire sentence thanks to judicial redemptions (work and studies in prison), a right established in the Organic Code of Criminal Procedure of Venezuela. The director of Foro Penal, Alfredo Romero said in a statement that “this release occurred after a series of requests and complaints by virtue of the fact that he had already served a sentence since July 2020.”

Upon his release, Sánchez was reunited with his wife and children, with the Foro Penal team, and with officials from the Spanish embassy and consulate in Venezuela, who expressed their support and welcome in freedom. The man’s defense said in conversation with ABC this Thursday that with his release it is confirmed that Sánchez “He deserved his freedom”, after being unjustly imprisoned.

“The Military Execution Court admitted that he was free due to the judicial redemptions,” Alfredo Romero told ABC. The lawyer for Foro Penal also assured that “there was clearly a delay in the redemptions,” however they did not receive excuses from the court for which Sánchez was not released a year ago.

Sánchez, 55, was born in Villadolid and went to Venezuela as a child along with his parents, where he made his career and his life. The lieutenant colonel of the Venezuelan Aviation was in the Ramo Verde military prison (the same prison where Leopoldo López was), located on the outskirts of Caracas. Sánchez was imprisoned on May 15, 2014 and was linked to an alleged coup called ‘Blue Blow’ and ‘Operation Jericó’. In February 2015, he received his sentence during an express trial in the Court Martial of Caracas, with an Accidental Court.

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Received inhumane treatment

Sánchez’s case took force in August last year when the Spaniard formally served his sentence. In a conversation that his wife Kerling Rodríguez had for an ABC publication, the woman recalled that her husband was sent in 2020 to a punishment cell in Ramo Verde with more than 20 men, where they stayed for 17 days.

«It was inhuman. There was a latrine there for all of them. The feces overflowed. They had to bathe in that cell, and I imagine they even had to eat there too (…) Currently in Ramo Verde there are prisoners sleeping on the floor and the sanitation conditions have worsened in recent years, “the woman told early June. According to Rodríguez, in prison, Sánchez was subjected to white and psychological torture and humiliating treatment of human dignity.

Other Spanish political prisoners

Until yesterday Sánchez was a prisoner of the Nicolás Maduro regime. According to Foro Penal, María Auxiliadora Delgado Tabosky (46 years old), Ángela Lisbeth Expósito Carrillo (56 years old), Jorge Henrique Alayeto Bigott (48 years old) and Francisco Javier Gorriño Fernández (67 years old) -all of them with Spanish passports- are the other names still on the list of political prisoners.

The Penal Forum, which has been one of the many local organizations dedicated to monitoring the prison population in Venezuela, only formally represents Sánchez; the rest of the cases are handled by private lawyers, by decision of the relatives.

Until this week, the organization that defends the rights of political prisoners in the oil country, reported that there are 301 detainees in Maduro’s prisons for political reasons. He explained through a customary weekly balance that there are 280 men, 21 women, and that at least 171 are civilians and 130 are military. The report included Sánchez, who now enjoys his freedom.

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The Penal Forum ensures that a person is considered detained for political reasons when in prison – including house arrest; when there is a true political cause, and when there is no relationship between the detainee and acts of violence with a political objective.

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