Human rights activist, colleague arrested at Capitol

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX – A well-known human rights activist and his colleague were arrested Thursday afternoon at the state Capitol.

Salvador Reza and Anayanse Garza were taken into custody by Capitol officers at about 3 p.m. while trying to enter the state Senate building to file paperwork in downtown Phoenix.

Reza has been outspoken during the immigration debates that have erupted in Arizona in the past year. He has been arrested twice before during Senate Bill 1070 protests.

Reza's supporters say Senate President Russell Pearce, his political foe, banned him from the building, prompting his arrest.

"As he's walking into the building, he's approached by two law enforcement officers that tell him he cannot come into the building, that he has been barred from the Arizona state Senate and he has to leave the building," state Sen. Steve Gallardo said. "He had asked why he was barred. Law enforcement had no reason to give him, they had no idea only to tell him he was barred."

A vigil was held outside of Fourth Avenue Jail where Reza and Garza were being held. Both of them were released shortly before 10 p.m.

3TV called Sen. Pearce's office and state Capitol police to try and find out why Reza was taken into custody but was unsuccessful.