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article imageVenezuela's protesting violinist detained: NGO

By AFP     Jul 28, 2017 in World

A young Venezuelan famous for playing the violin at anti-government protests has been arrested by military personnel in Caracas, a human rights organization said Friday.

Wuilly Arteaga, 23, is in custody at command headquarters of the National Guard west of the capital, according to a tweet from Alfredo Romero, head of the NGO Penal Forum.

Arteaga has become a fixture at the chaotic rallies that have sent shockwaves through Venezuela as the opposition tries to push President Nicolas Maduro out of office.

Amid the clamor the skinny performer plays traditional Venezuelan music or the national anthem.

Arteaga was among some 50 people arrested on the second day of a 48-hour strike orchestrated by the opposition against Maduro and his plans to elect a body on Sunday to rewrite the constitution.

According to Penal Forum some 4,500 people have been arrested in the nearly four months of violent protests, which have left 113 dead and hundreds injured.

On Saturday, Arteaga was seen with blood pouring from cuts on the left side of his face. He said later he had been struck with buckshot.

"They are not going to frighten me," he said in a video he posted on Twitter from a hospital bed, with big swollen lips and bandages on his face. "We are going to keep fighting."

The opposition has called for mass protests for Friday and throughout the weekend ahead of Sunday's controversial vote.

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