EU says Venezuela arrests 'step in wrong direction'

Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma, the South American nation's highest profile leaders of the opposition to President Nicolas Maduro, were both already under house arrest when they were picked up by the Venezuelan intelligence service.

EU says Venezuela arrests 'step in wrong direction'

World Bulletin / News Desk

The European Union criticised the arrest of two Venezuelan opposition leaders Tuesday following a controversial vote on a new assembly, saying it was a "step in the wrong direction".

"A few weeks ago we had welcomed the transfer of Leopoldo Lopez from his prison into house arrest," Catherine Ray, a spokeswoman for EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini, told a daily briefing when asked about the detention of the two men.

"We heard the news today and we believe it's clearly a step in the wrong direction. We expect more information from the Venezuelan authorities on their situation which is still unclear."

The EU on Monday said it had "grave doubts" about recognising the vote, and on Tuesday it again urged the government in Caracas to end a four-month crackdown on protests that has left more than 120 people dead.

"We keep calling the government of Venezuela to work towards urgent confidence-building measures aimed at de-escalating the tensions and fostering better conditions for resuming efforts towards a peaceful negotiated solution," said Ray.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Ağustos 2017, 14:28