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Jailed Venezuela police chief starts hunger strike
Jailed Venezuelan police chief goes on hunger strike to demand release
Associated Press
2014-05-28 03:42 AM

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- A former police chief whose decade-long imprisonment has been taken up as a cause by Venezuela's opposition is going on a hunger strike to demand his release.

Ivan Simonovis is serving a 30-year sentence for aggravated murder related to his role in the death of pro-government protesters who rushed to the defense of then-President Hugo Chavez in a failed 2002 coup.

Simonovis' lawyers on Tuesday made public a letter written from a military prison in which the 53-year-old said he's tired of waiting for Venezuela's justice system to respond to a petition for his release on humanitarian grounds. Simonovis' lawyers said the inmate suffers from 14 illnesses including advanced osteoporosis.

The government in April accepted an opposition proposal to form a medical commission to study Simonovis' health.

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