FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 28, 2017
VENEZUELAN DISSIDENT WUILLY ARTEAGA, A YOUNG VIOLINIST, BEATEN AND BURNED BY MADURO THUGS
“Martial law was announced in Venezuela yesterday. Hundreds of political prisoners have been detained, and there are reports of gruesome torture. The Maduro regime has planned an illegal coup to take place on Sunday. The United States must stand for justice and human rights now by calling for the immediate release of Wuilly and all political prisoners. It is in our national interest. Otherwise a second communist dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere will emerge on our watch and there will be further bloodshed.”
On Saturday, Wuilly Arteaga was injured in the face by buckshot fired by a Bolivarian National Guardsman while peacefully playing his violin in the streets. The buckshot narrowly missed his eye, and Wuilly underwent surgery for his injuries. Despite the doctor ordering him to stay in absolute repose for 15 days, on Sunday Wuilly was back in the streets playing his violin.
Yesterday, Wuilly was arrested while playing his violin in the center of Caracas. This comes just two days before the sham July 30th elections. His unjust imprisonment puts him at risk of being brutally mistreated by Cuban intelligence officials, many of whom are operating Venezuela’s prisons.
Today, Wuilly has been tortured. According to his lawyer, his hair has been burned and he has been beaten so that he cannot hear through his right ear.
For more information or to schedule an interview with Marion Smith, VOC Executive Director, please contact Ayla at [email protected] or (202) 629.9500.