10:20 GMT24 January 2021
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    PARIS (Sputnik) - The French Foreign Ministry said Thursday that it has summoned Venezuelan Ambassador to Paris Hector Michel Mujica Ricardo over the "suspicious" death of opposition activist Fernando Alban, accused by Caracas of attempted assassination of President Nicolas Maduro.

    "The Venezuelan ambassador to France was summoned today to the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs after the suspicious death of municipal councilor Fernando Alban during his detention on October 8," the ministry’s statement read.

    Paris reiterated calls on Caracas to respect human rights and release all political prisoners.

    "France hopes that the light will be shed on the circumstances of this death through an impartial and independent investigation, and recalls that every state is responsible for ensuring the physical integrity and health of detainees," the ministry noted, referring to the death of Alban.

    On Friday, Alban was taken into custody by the Venezuelan security services upon his arrival to Caracas from New York on charges of plotting the assassination of Maduro. On Monday, the Venezuelan authorities said that the arrested politician committed suicide, which was refuted by Venezuelan opposition politicians.

    READ MORE: Venezuelan Parliament Holds Mourning Ceremony for Deceased Opposition Politician

    A number of prominent international watchdogs along with the world’s governments called on the Venezuelan authorities to carry out a prompt and credible investigation into the death of the politician, while the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights pledged to conduct its own probe into the case.

    According to the Venezuelan authorities, Maduro faced a failed assassination attempt with use of explosive-carrying drones during his address at a military parade in Caracas on August 4. The president accused opposition forces and Colombia of having organized the attack on him, adding that some of the assassination perpetrators resided in the United States. Both Bogota and Washington denied any involvement in the incident.


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