Venezuela pardons 43 more prisoners

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-14 06:09:01|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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CARACAS, June 13 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela has pardoned another 43 prisoners serving sentences for politically-motivated violence, the president of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), Delcy Rodriguez, said on Wednesday.

"Today, 43 people benefited from the measure," said Rodriguez, adding a total of "more than 200 people" have been pardoned to date, counting releases made in December 2017.

Since President Nicolas Maduro was reelected to a second term in May, prisoners have been pardoned as part of his new push for national reconciliation between supporters of the ruling socialist PSUV party and the conservative opposition coalition (MUD).

Wednesday's releases brought the total of prisoners pardoned over the past four weeks to 123.

"I ask that you ... do not again resort to violence," Rodriguez said, in a message to the released prisoners.

Rodriguez serves as the head of a newly-established Truth, Justice and Peace Commission that was tasked with reviewing the prisoners' cases and recommending pardons, and that convened on Wednesday.

The prisoners were tried and convicted following waves of violent anti-government protests in 2014 and 2018 that left scores dead and hundreds injured.

The latest pardons are the last of this initial stage of reconciliation, she said, though the commission will continue to review cases.

Venezuela's Prosecutor General Tarek William Saab, who also attended the session, said there were many national problems to resolve, "and they cannot be resolved by violent means, it has to be through dialogue."