Venezuela opposition says police illegally detain ex-legislator

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FILE PHOTO: Gilberto Sojo, an elected deputy from the Venezuelan coalition of opposition parties, arrives at the National Assembly to be sworn in , in Caracas

CARACAS (Reuters) - A Venezuelan police special forces unit has illegally detained former legislator Gilberto Sojo, an ally of opposition leader Juan Guaido, the opposition said.

The unit, known as FAES, has been widely accused of human rights abuses, and international activists have called on President Nicolas Maduro to abolish it.

"He was kidnapped by FAES, a death squad for the regime that the U.N. has asked to be dissolved and whose chief has been sanctioned by the European Union," tweeted Guaido late on Thursday.

He is recognized by the United States and other countries in the region as Venezuela's legitimate president.

The information ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Maduro's government says opposition figures are regularly involved in plots to topple him, though officials often do not give evidence for such accusations.

Sojo was elected in 2015 as a substitute legislator while still in prison for leading protests against Maduro. He was later released and served as a member of the opposition-led congress.

The term of that congress officially expired in January, but the opposition boycotted the December elections for the new parliament that took power this year.

(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)