Two high-profile critics of President Maduro were captured from their homes in overnight raids. They were living under house arrest over allegations of inciting violence during anti-government protests in 2014.

Sunday's controversial election of the constituent assembly has triggered deadly clashes in the streets of Caracas.
Sunday's controversial election of the constituent assembly has triggered deadly clashes in the streets of Caracas.

Venezuelan security officials on Tuesday took two high-profile critics of President Nicolas Maduro‌, Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma, into custody from their homes during overnight raids.

Venezula is an oil-rich but recession-racked country. It has been gripped by four months of protests against Maduro that have left more than 110 dead in confrontations against security forces who have responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons.

The raids came after the two leaders, who were both under house arrest, urged protests against a new legislative body. This new body was elected last week in a vote that was boycotted by the opposition and saw violence on the streets.

The country's Supreme Court said it had revoked house arrest measures granted to Lopez and Ledezma and put them back in jail because the opposition leaders were planning to flee.

The European Union criticised the arrests - saying it's a "step in the wrong direction".

Lopez was sentenced to 13 years and nine months in jail for incitement to violence during anti-Maduro protests in 2014, which killed 43 people from both sides of the political divide.

He was released from prison and put under house arrest last month for "health reasons." However, days after his release, he published a video on social media urging Venezuelans to protest against the constituent assembly.

His wife Lilian Tintori posted a video that appeared to show Lopez being led into a vehicle emblazoned with the word Sebin, Venezuela's intelligence agency.

Antonio Ledezma was granted house arrest in 2015 after being imprisoned on charges of leading a coup against Maduro.

His daughter Vanessa Ledezma said she held Maduro responsible for what happened to her father.

Source: TRT World