Venezuelan officer hits musician Wuilly Arteaga with violin, attorney says

Violinist playing during clashes set to appear in court Saturday, attorney says

(Ivan Reyes/ Efecto Cocuyo via CNN)

CARACAS, Venezuela – Violinist Wuilly Arteaga's attorney said Friday that a member of the Venezuelan National Guard took his violin and hit him with it while detaining him. 

Attorney Alfredo Romero, who is the director of human rights organization Foro Penal, said  Arteaga complained of suffering some hearing loss after the officer struck him in the head.

"They burned some of his hair," Romero said. 

Romero said the 23-year-old musician was playing his violin on the streets of Caracas and was not breaking any laws when he was detained Thursday.

When Arteaga was detained he was recovering from facial injuries that he suffered while playing during clashes between protesters and riot police Saturday. 

Romero classified Arteaga's detention as arbitrary and said he was set to appear in court Saturday. 

Armando Cañizales died during a May protest in Caracas.
Armando Cañizales died during a May protest in Caracas.

Arteaga started playing his violin during protests after 17-year-old violinist Armando Cañizales, who played with the Sinfónica Juvenil José Francisco del Castillo, died during a protest May 3

Cañizales, who was shot in the neck, had dreams of going to medical school. Authorities link 114 deaths to the  nearly four months of protests against President Nicolas Maduro. 

Arteaga has said he will continue to play with protesters until Maduro releases all political prisoners and stops the repression against protesters who are tired of the food and medicine shortages. 

The Venezuelan government banned protests from Friday until Tuesday. Maduro was campaigning for a Sunday election that is meant to create the legislative body that he will be entrusting with rewriting the constitution.  

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