A Greek national who is an outspoken opponent of Venezuela’s regime has appealed for his release from a Colombian prison, where he is being held after Athens issued an arrest warrant through Interpol in July of 2018.
Antonis Vathiotis appealed to Greek opposition politicians for their help in an emotional message recorded from his cell in a high security prison.
The forty-four-year-old, who is a father of three, was born in Greece but has lived in Venezuela for more than thirty years.
“I am a political prisoner of Nicolas Maduro in Colombia,” Vathiotis states.
“I ask for your help. I’ve been in jail for eleven months. I’ve been prosecuted because I am against Maduro,” he pleads in the video.
In the message, he also declares that the Greek government of Alexis Tsipras issued the arrest warrant through Interpol on behalf of the nation of Venezuela.
Ο πολιτικός κρατούμενος με εντολή του @atsipras o @Antoniovathiot3 στο βιντεο στέλνει μυνημα στον @AdonisGeorgiadi και ζητά βοήθεια ,,οχι για να διοριστεί αλλα ΓΙΑ ΝΑ ΣΩΣΕΙ ΤΗΝ ΖΩΗ ΤΟΥ
— ΘEMIΣΤΟΚΛ Γ0YΛIΔAKHΣ (@GOULIDAKHS) May 1, 2019
Vathiotis has appealed for political asylum in Colombia, claiming that if he was extradited to Venezuela, he would not have a fair trial and would be tortured like hundreds of other dissidents have been.
He is accused by the Maduro regime of the murder of a National Guard officer during anti-government demonstrations which took place in 2014.
Speaking recently to the the Colombian press, Vathiotis’ wife, Marielys Macedo, said “We went out to demonstrations because we did not agree with the regime. But our demonstrations were always peaceful, against the government, but peaceful.”
“It is a political persecution, because my husband never committed any crime… The charges against him are similar to the charges leveled against most opposition activists,” Macedo added.