Billy Six: Reporter allowed to leave Venezuela

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  • Andreas Kopietz

    Andreas Kopietz

Billy Six in jail, probably in a secret service office.

Billy Six in jail, probably in a secret service office.

Photo:

Photo: Six

The native of Brandenburg reporter Billy Six, who was imprisoned in Venezuela for four months, is on his way to Germany. This confirmed his father and the Foreign Office on Sunday the Berliner Zeitung. “We are glad that the case Billy Six after intense efforts has taken a positive development,” said a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office.

The 32-year-old, who works for the right-wing conservative weekly Junge Freiheit, was arrested in Venezuela in mid-November. He spent 119 days in a solitary cell in the intelligence prison in Caracas.

Among other things, the journalist was accused of treason and espionage. So he is said to have crossed a barrier in May 2018 to take a photo of President Nicols Maduro. He also photographed a public military parade.

Billy Six boarded a plane

On Friday evening, a court had released him – initially with conditions. So the journalist was not allowed to leave the country and had to report every 15 days to the Venezuelan authorities. The German embassy in Caracas now reached his departure for Germany. Six boarded a plane on Sunday.

For a long time, his family has raised serious allegations against the German Foreign Ministry. It had not formally protested against the detention of her son and demanded the release, as was always the case with other journalists. “The Federal Foreign Office has done a minimum of activities to avoid the charge of not doing anything,” said Edward Six on Sunday.

In addition, not the Foreign Office has provided for the release but the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He met his Venezuelan counterpart Jorge Arreaza last Thursday during an extended meeting with the Austrian government in Vienna. The Venezuelan government readily responded to the Russians’ desire for immediate release. As Six ‘family writes on Facebook, the AfD member of the Bundestag and chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Petr Bystron has liaised with Lavrov. The Foreign Office does not want to comment on alleged help from the Russians.

Foreign Ministry rejects allegations

However, a spokeswoman rejected the allegations of the family: “The German Embassy in Caracas has provided consular assistance to Mr. Six from the time the detention case was known until he left Maiqueta Simn Bolvar Airport.”

“Consular assistance” by the respective embassy is given to all German citizens who are imprisoned somewhere abroad, including ordinary criminals.

Edward Six wants to pick up his son at the airport in Berlin on Monday. At least one thing he already knows: “His health is apparently quite good.”

For the release of the journalist, among other things, the organization “Reporters Without Borders” had used.