Chávez opponent not allowed to speak with media
30 Mar 10

On 28 March, Wilmer Azuaje was banned by Venezuela’s highest court from speaking to the media about criminal charges alleging he struck a police official. The measure is meant to protect the “reputation, integrity and honour of the victim.” Azuaje, former Deputy of the National Assembly and an outspoken opponent of President Hugo Chavez, was detained on 25 March after prosecutors accused him of insulting a public official and breaking a law that prohibits violence against women. The National Assembly, which is dominated by allies of Chavez, lifted Azuaje’s immunity as a lawmaker from prosecution Friday — a rare step usually reserved for crimes such as corruption. He was later released on 27 March.