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    Opposition supporters clash with riot police during a rally against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, May 8, 2017.

    Venezuela to Introduce Ban on Street Protests

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    Venezuelan authorities will prohibit street protests starting Friday, Interior Minister Nestor Luis Reverol said.

    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – Venezuelan authorities will prohibit street protests starting Friday ahead of the upcoming Constitutional Assembly elections on Sunday, Interior Minister Nestor Luis Reverol said Thursday, adding that this ban will be in effect until August 1.

    “[People] who organize, support or incite organization and functioning of the country’s electoral process or social life will be sentenced to imprisonment from five to 10 years in accordance with article 56 of the Organic Law on National Security,” Reverol said as quoted the NTN 25, specifying that the ban will be in force from July 28 until August 1.

    On July 20, Venezuela faced a 24-hour opposition-staged strike ahead of the Constitutional Assembly, which will be charged with rewriting the constitution. The new draft is anticipated to pave the way out of the political turmoil which started in January 2016, when a new legislature was elected and relations between Maduro and the parliament became strained.

    In March, the Venezuelan Supreme Court decided to absorb the legislative power of the state’s National Assembly. While the controversial decision was immediately reversed amid backlash, supporters of the opposition-controlled parliament, who strive for the dismissal of the court's justices, took to the streets in early April. The series of protests which then ensued have so far claimed the lives of over 100 people.

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