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World

AFP
October 14, 2018

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‘First sunrise in years’: freed Venezuela activist arrives in Madrid

MADRID: Fresh from his release after four years behind bars, Venezuelan opposition activist Lorent Saleh said Saturday he had seen the sunrise for the first time since he was detained as he arrived in Madrid.

Emotional, the 30-year-old spoke to reporters and Venezuelans at Madrid’s airport just a day after being freed from the cells of state intelligence services in Caracas. “After four years I can see the sunrise, I saw it today,” he said.

His release — which was welcome by Spain on Saturday — was such a surprise that he was still digesting it, he said.

“In Venezuela there are innocent people behind bars,” he added. They “deserve to cross the bridge like I did”. His release came just four days after Fernando Alban, a Caracas city council member accused of taking part in a failed drone attack on President Nicolas Maduro, died in pretrial detention, an incident that sparked international outrage.

Authorities say the 52-year-old committed suicide by jumping out of a 10th-floor window of the state intelligence service headquarters. But his supporters and family say he was tortured to death and then thrown out.

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