World #2 – Venezuelan firemen face trial for donkey video mocking Maduro

maduro-firemen-820x475(by Alexandra Ulmer and Shaylim Castro, Reuters) CARACAS – Two Venezuelans firefighters who made a viral video portraying President Nicolas Maduro as a donkey were jailed on Sunday pending trial on charges of inciting hate and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted, right groups said. Ricardo Prieto, 41, and Carlos Varon, 45, were arrested by military counterintelligence officers on Wednesday at the fire station where they worked in western Merida state, according to the human rights observatory of the University of the Andes in Merida, which is tracking the case. The pair appeared on Sunday before Judge Carlos Marquez, who ordered they be held for trial on charges of violating a law against fomenting hatred that was passed last year [by Maduro’s constitutional assembly], the observatory and the Penal Forum rights group said. “The firemen were indicted with an aggravated charge of inciting hate. That aggravated charge indicates … 20 years of jail time,” said lawyer Ivan Toro of the observatory, who attended the hearing.

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