Italian photojournalist Francesca Commissari on Sunday was released by a Caracas judge who heard her case and those of a Portuguese citizen and 39 Venezuelans arrested late last week during anti-government protests here.

"I'm free," tweeted Commissari on Twitter, where she thanked - among others - her country's consulate and the lawyers from the NGO Foro Penal Venezolano and the SNTP journalists' association of Venezuela for helping obtain her release.

Including Commissari, there have been "76 journalistic victims of the #RepresionEnVenezuela" wrote the SNTP on the same social network.

"Judge's decision: Release but must appear in court for all the 41 arrested ... except in the case of the foreigners, that is, Italian citizen (journalist) and Portuguese citizen, who are fully free," wrote attorney Jose Vicente Haro.

Haro is one of a team of lawyers from different universities and NGOs who are defending in court the people arrested during the protests under way since Feb. 12 against the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

The trials of those arrested during the clashes and brawls, in which 18 people have died and dozens have been injured, "simply should not exist and ... those who demonstrate or protest should not be brought to trial," the attorney said.

The arrested people were held at a military installation in Caracas, where the director of the NGO Foro Penal Venezolano, Alfredo Romero, told Efe that he had verified that they were all in good health.

In recent days, various groups of reporters have complained about the difficulties they have encountered doing their jobs and the fact that security forces have arrested journalists while they have been out covering the protests. EFE