Venezuela’s opposition protests arrest of lawmaker

August 9, 2018
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The family of lawmaker Juan Requesens, father Juan Requesens, right, mother Paula Martinez, center, sister Rafalea, left, and wife Oriana Granati attend a special session of Venezuela's National Assembly, in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. VVenezuela's pro-government constitutional assembly stripped two opposition lawmakers of their immunity from prosecution on Wednesday, one of them Juan Requesens, accusing them of having roles in a drone attack that authorities say was an attempt to kill President Nicolas Maduro. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s opposition-controlled congress is leaving a seat empty for a member they say has been kidnapped by President Nicolas Maduro’s ruling party.

The National Assembly on Thursday marked Juan Requesens’ seat with a sign saying he’s missing or kidnapped. Officials arrested Requesens on Tuesday.

He and fellow lawmaker Julio Borges are charged with the attempted assassination of Maduro using drones loaded with explosives.

Rafaela Requesens says her brother was arrested for being a critic of Maduro’s repressive regime — not a criminal.

She says her brother hasn’t been allowed to make outside contact or see an attorney since being arrested in violation of his rights.

Several foreign diplomats from the United States, France and Canada attended the Assembly’s special session in a show of support.

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