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Venezuelan opposition mayor sentenced to jail


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Venezuelan opposition mayor sentenced to jail

Venezuela's Supreme Court dismissed opposition mayor Ramon Muchacho of the Caracas district of Chacao from his post and sentenced him to 15 months in prison, Reuters reported.

The report said Muchacho was found to be in contempt of court for defying an order to ensure free transit in his district, where protesters against President Nicolas Maduro's government have regularly blocked streets for over four months.

Muchacho criticized the court ruling as an effort to suppress dissent.

Reuters reported Aug. 5 that Venezuela's new constituent assembly sacked state prosecutor Luisa Ortega, who had started an investigation into allegations that Maduro's government manipulated turnout figures in the July 30 election for the assembly.

Opposition leaders Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma were also taken from their homes by security forces Aug. 1. Ledezma was later released from prison and placed back under house arrest Aug. 4, the same day the constituent assembly was inaugurated.