UPDATE: Utahn Josh Holt pleads on Facebook from Venezuela prison
UPDATE (5/17/18, 1:20 p.m.) -- A new video was posted Thursday on Facebook of Josh Holt saying he is doing OK but asks and pleads for help with his release from a Venezuela prison.
The post captions read:
"Please please please ONLY positive comments! #NeverGiveUp #JusticeForJoshAndThamy"
(KUTV) — Josh Holt, the Utah man jailed for close to two years in a Venezuela prison, has posted videos and posts today stating that the prison he is in has fallen and people are trying to kill him.
The last post, posted about 1:10 p.m. Utah time said:
Helicoide the prison where I am at has fallen the guards are here and people.are trying to break in my room and kill me. WHAT DO WE DO?
It isn't known how Holt has access to Facebook in prison and his claims regarding the prison cannot be verified.
In a previous post he pleads with the United State to help him.
"They want to kill me and paint the walls with my blood," he writes. "They won't give me a true trial."
Holt traveling to the country to get married. The 24-year-old, who learned Spanish on his LDS mission, had met his fiancé, Thamy, online and married her June 16, 2016. Two weeks later, the new bride and groom were both arrested.
The two videos Holt posted seem to be one message in new parts. In the first he said, "They have taken the entire prison where I am at. They are outside, they are trying to break in, they say they are wanting to kill me."
A news outlet in Venezuela reported cops entered his apartment in Ciudad Caribia -- west of Caracas -- and found weapons and ammunition. His family believes it was a set up and others have also said he is a political pawn.
The Holt family lawyer released this following statement on behalf of the family:
The Holt Family is deeply troubled and concerned with the new developments taking place at the SEBIN, where their son, Josh, and their daughter in law Thamy, are being imprisoned. We ask that our government and representatives act immediately to achieve their safety. We ask the community to join in with prayers on their behalf, as well.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, Rep. Mia Love and the administrations of presidents Obama and Trump made efforts to free him.
Matt Whitlock, Hatch's spokesman released this statement in regards to Josh's situation:
Senator Hatch has been aware of Josh’s situation throughout the day and been in communication with Josh’s family, the Trump administration, and contacts in Venezuela. He remains focused on Josh’s safety as we work to bring him home on humanitarian grounds.
Rep. Mia Love also released this following statement:
This afternoon, my office confirmed that the Venezuelan jail where Joshua Holt is being held was being threatened by riots and violence. I am extremely concerned about this situation, but have been assured that Josh is safe at this time. Immediately upon hearing what happened, I responded to his heartbreaking pleas for help with a personal phone call to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. I am also in contact with the White House, the NSC (National Security Council), and the State Department. It is time for the State Department to quickly produce a plan of action in order to resolve this situation once and for all. Josh and his family have suffered far too long. I will be closely monitoring this situation as it continues to unfold and new information becomes available, and will remain in close contact with Laurie Holt, Josh’s mom.