Mourners gathered in Caracas today at the National Assembly chapel to bid farewell to Fernando Alban, the opposition politician who died under mysterious circumstances yesterday while in regime custody.
Alban was a Caracas city councilor. He was arrested on Friday by the SEBIN, the Maduro regime’s political police, and taken to the agency’s headquarters in Plaza Venezuela. He was held there during the weekend until his death yesterday afternoon, which the regime claims was suicide.
Those who knew Alban have refuted the theory, and instead claim that Alban was killed by the authorities.
Alban’s lawyer, Joel Garcia, pointed out today that the windows on the SEBIN office building from which Alban allegedly leapt to his death–and in particular, those on the 10th floor–are always closed.
The image below shows the vehicle that transported Alban’s body from the Bello Monte morgue in Caracas to the National Assembly:
The images below show Alban’s casket surrounded by opposition politicians at the National Assembly in Caracas:
The video below shows a group of individuals carrying Alban’s casket through the legislation grounds while singing the national anthem:
The video below shows a mourner adjusting a picture of Alban on top of his casket:
The video below shows Alban’s coffin inside the National Assembly chapel. Alban’s mother weeps quietly while resting her head on her son’s casket:
The video below shows part of today’s ceremony. Among the attendees were human rights activist Lilian Tintori and Omar Barboza, the president of the National Assembly:
Because the authorities did not present an arrest warrant at the time of Alban’s arrest and did not notify anyone of his detention, and because Alban was never formally charged with a crime, it is not known for certain exactly why he was arrested. Yesterday, Minister of the Interior Nestor Reverol claimed that Alban was going to stand trial for his alleged involvement in the August 4 drone attack against Maduro.
International Community Reacts with Shock at Alban’s Death
Reaction to Alban’s death from the international community has so far tended to focus on the possibility that the councilor was killed by the authorities.
Irwin Cotler, a Canadian lawyer and human rights activist, tweeted the following reaction earlier today:
In Spain, Foreign Affairs Minister Josep Borrell expressed his “deep concern” over Alban’s death, and in particular the fact that details of his death were not at all clear. At the same time, Borrell summoned Venezuelan ambassador to Spain Mario Isea to a meeting in order to receive an update from the official on the case.
In Geneva, United Nations human rights office spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani told reporters that it was also calling for an investigation into the death, which it also deemed suspicious. Shamdasani said:
We do indeed call for a transparent, independent investigation to clarify the circumstances of his death.
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