Riot erupts at Venezuela detention centre, Utah man pleads for help

Prison where Josh Holt is being held captive reportedly under attack

The political prisoners have peacefully taken control of it.

There was no official information on the incident and family members said they were in the dark about what was happening at the Helicoide, headquarters of intelligence agency Sebin, where several hundred people are behind bars. He said tear gas and weapons had been fired at detainees but they were holding out to demand freedom.

A Utah man imprisoned in Venezuela for two years without trial has made an emotional plea for help, saying in clandestinely shot videos that a prison riot is underway and his life is at risk.

In a video seen on Twitter late on Wednesday Holt said, "I'm here to show you that I am not being kidnapped".

"I've been begging my Government for two years".

Holt was arrested after traveling to Venezuela in the summer of 2016 to marry a woman, a Venezuelan native, who he had met on a dating website.

His first-ever video message from jail came amid what the US Government described as a riot by fellow inmates, including some of President Nicolas Maduro's top opponents who are being held alongside the American. They're outside, they're trying to break in.

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Love said she had reached out to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the White House and the National Security Council on Holt's behalf, according to a statement from her office. "They are asking for freedom ... they are asking for health care ... they are asking for human rights. they want the aggression and the torture to stop". "They're saying they want me as their guarantee". "That delegation spoke to a representative of the prisoners to respond to their requests", chief prosecutor Tarek Saab tweeted.

Loud voices outside Holt's cell can be heard in both videos.

"We are concerned about the riot at El Helicoide", Mr Robinson said in a statement, referring to the helix-shaped building where Maduro's top opponents are being held.

Authorities of Venezuela claim that Holt was working with the US government to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, a plan they say involved him and his wife stockpiling weapons.

Venezuela's Information Ministry did not respond to a request for comment, but its chief prosecutor said in a tweet that his office was on site, without providing details.

"Joshua Holt and other USA citizens are in danger". It said: "Venezuela's government is directly responsible for their safety and we will hold them responsible if anything happens to them".

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