Euro MPs slam Venezeula opposition 'persecution'
The European Parliament on Thursday strongly condemned Venezuela for the "persecution" of the democratic opposition and urged Caracas to free political prisoners.
Lawmakers at the parliament in Strasbourg voted by 476 to 109 with 49 abstentions in favour of the motion, which also slammed censorship and violations of free speech.
"MEPs strongly condemn the political persecution and imprisonment of peaceful protesters and opposition leaders in Venezuela," the motion said.
It urged Caracas to "withdraw the unfounded charges and arrest warrants against opposition politicians" and "immediately disarm and dissolve the uncontrolled pro-government associations, putting an end to their impunity".
Euro MPs said the situation in Venezuela had worsened since the election of President Nicolas Maduro in 2013, following the death of the autocratic Hugo Chavez.
The US Congress on Wednesday approved new sanctions against Venezuelan officials accused of violating the rights of anti-government protesters earlier this year.
© 2014 AFP