Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was granted house arrest on Friday, July 7 after more than three years in a military prison, according to the country’s Supreme Court.
A statement released on Saturday morning said Supreme Court President Maikel Moreno granted a “humanitarian measure” to Lopez for health reasons. It also said there were indications of “serious irregularities” in his case.
Venezuela top court cited 'serious indication of irregularities' in tribunal filings and health reasons in granting Lopez house arrest.
— Andy Rosati (@andrewrosati) July 8, 2017
The 46-year-old leader of the Popular Will party was arrested in 2014 for allegedly inciting violence during anti-government protests against President Nicolas Maduro.
While Lopez, along with fellow opposition leader Henrique Capriles, called for peaceful protests in their public speeches, government prosecutors said Lopez sent subliminal messages to promote violence.
The anti-government protests in 2014 led to 43 deaths.
The current protests that began in April have left at least 90 dead as anti-government demonstrators take to the streets, demanding fresh elections amid food and medicine shortages.
Lopez’s imprisonment has gained attention from world leaders and human rights activists, including UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, who called the detention “arbitrary.”
U.S. President Donald Trump also called for his release of Lopez in February 2017, as he met with Lopez’s wife, activist Lilian Tintori.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2017
Javier Cremades, Lopez’s lawyer in Spain, confirmed the news early Saturday morning that he was at home with Tintori, and their two children.
In response to Lopez’s release, Capriles tweeted, “It gives us great joy that Leopoldo Lopez is at home with his family! He must be given his full freedom, like all political prisoners!”
Outside Lopez home, party members, supporters, & lots of reporters await word on his health & terms of house arrest pic.twitter.com/EsnYVNbJHj
— Alexandra Ulmer (@AlexandraUlmer) July 8, 2017
— stefano pozzebon (@StePozzebon) July 8, 2017