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Venezuelan medical student facing 'military rebellion' charges is released on probation

Attorneys say 21-year-old woman is victim of political persecution

Ariana Granadillo is a student at the Universidad Nacional Experimental Romulo Gallegos who was arrested June 15 in Venezuela. Photo courtesy of Foro Penal.
Ariana Granadillo is a student at the Universidad Nacional Experimental Romulo Gallegos who was arrested June 15 in Venezuela. Photo courtesy of Foro Penal.

CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan authorities released a 21-year-old medical student after arresting her for the third time on accusations that she was part of a military conspiracy against President Nicolas Maduro, human rights activists say.  

Ariana Virginia Granadillo Roca, a student at the Universidad Nacional Experimental Romulo Gallegos, was last arrested June 25 and appeared in military court in Caracas on Tuesday. Maria F. Torres, an attorney with Foro Penal, said the military tribunal ruled that Granadillo be released on probation. 

Granadillo is related to Col. Oswaldo Valentin Garcia Perdomo, who is accused of rebellion and military conspiracy for his involvement in the alleged plot, code-named "Operation Constitution," which was supposed to overthrow Maduro on May 20.

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In a wanted flyer from the Venezuelan government, authorities claim Perdomo is a terrorist who is protected and financed by the governments of the United States and Colombia. 

Granadillo was living in Perdomo's home in the Caracas' San Antonio de los Altos neighborhood when the alleged plot was taking place. Authorities detained her and her parents, Felix Argenis Granadillo and Gabriela del Carmen Roca Vasquez, on May 24 without notifying anyone.

About five days after they vanished, their relatives filed a complaint with the prosecutor's office. After they were released and Ariana Granadillo returned to her home in the small town of Rio Chiquito in Tachira, she was detained again on June 23 and charged with rebellion and military conspiracy.

Under the terms of the probation release issued Tuesday, Ariana Granadillo isn't allowed to leave the country. She also isn't allowed to speak to reporters and must report to a probation officer every eight days, according to Torres.  

Foro Penal attorneys estimate there are 275 political prisoners in Venezuela. 

Este video fue elaborado por la familia de la #PresaPolitica Ariana Granadillo, de 21 años de edad y estudiante de medicina. - Piden su colaboración y solidaridad para difundirlo. - Recuerden que “No hay que hacer justicia por propia mano, pero está en nuestras manos #QueSeHagaJusticia" . - Ayudemos a Ariana y a su familia @foropenal #Venezuela #DDHH #presospolíticos #Libertad #LibertadPlena #DefensoresActivos #Seguimos - #regrann

Posted by Foro Penal on Tuesday, July 3, 2018

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