Venezuelan Photojournalist Released After 16 Months in Military Prison

Venezuelan photojournalist Jesus Medina was released late Monday from a military prison southwest of Caracas following 16 months in detention, according to Venezuela-based rights organization Foro Penal.Medina, a photographer for the Florida-registered black market dollar website Opposition leader Juan Guaido speaks at the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Jan. 7, 2020. Guaidó and lawmakers who back him, pushed their way into the legislative building on Tuesday.On Tuesday, Guaido, recognized by the United States and dozens of its allies as Venezuela’s legitimate president, took his place in the Parliament speaker’s seat.Some observers call the decision to release the prisoners part of a broader strategy to further marginalize Guaido, whose demands for their release has been a prominent part of his opposition platform.Foro Penal said Venezuela had 388 political prisoners behind bars as of Dec. 30, 2019, a figure the Maduro government denies.According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, Medina was one of three journalists jailed in the Americas in 2019, with the other two held in Honduras and Cuba.In its 2019 annual World Press Freedom Index, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders ranks Venezuela 148 out of 180 countries, in which 1 is considered the freest.Some information in this report is from Reuters. 

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