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PCIN demand the release of Miguel Mendoza and Miguel Mora one year after their imprisonment.

June 22, 2022

Journalists Miguel Mora and Miguel Mendoza have been arbitrarily detained for one year. The founder of 100% Noticias was imprisoned for the second time on June 20, 2021. Only one day later, the police arrested the sports writer. Both were arrested in the hunt launched by the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo prior to the presidential elections in November last year. Nicaraguan Independent Journalists and Communicators (PCIN) demand his release.

On June 21, 202, members of the PCIN, Nicaraguan Independent Journalists and Communicators, demanded the immediate release of Miguel Mora and Miguel Mendoza, “because the dissemination of thought is a constitutional right and should never be criminalized. There are 365 days of systematic violations of their fundamental rights,” said the PCIN group in a statement.

Bachelet warns about the persistent deterioration of human rights in Nicaragua.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, denounced the continued deterioration of the situation in Nicaragua under the government of Daniel Ortega, with arbitrary arrests, persecution, closure of NGOs, and a massive forced exile of Nicaraguan citizens.

In an updated report presented to the 50th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 16, Bachelet rejected the imprisonment of more than 180 people after the political crisis that erupted with the 2018 protests, whose repression left some 355 dead.

"I make this occasion propitious to reiterate my request to the competent authorities to ensure the immediate release of all people arbitrarily detained and guarantee their physical and mental integrity," he said, denouncing deplorable prison conditions.

He added that since May 2022 “the Police have resumed harassment against Catholic priests, persistently following and intimidating them”, while civic space has been “dramatically” reduced after the closure of at least 12 private universities and “388 non-governmental organizations since the beginning. This year, bringing the total to at least 454 since November 2018.”

Bachelet declared that "the number of Nicaraguans leaving the country is increasing to unprecedented numbers," even higher than those recorded in the 1980s, when Nicaragua was experiencing a civil war.

They prevent the entry of Univisión journalist Tifani Roberts

The Nicaraguan government prohibited the entry of the Nicaraguan-American journalist Tifani Roberts, from the North American network Univisión, arguing that the authorities had rejected her PCR test.

Roberts tried to travel from the United States to visit his mother, who lives in Managua, on June 16. On her Twitter account, the journalist denounced that the Colombian airline Avianca prevented her from boarding the flight after notifying her that she was not allowed to enter her country.

Juan Pappier, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, said that the decision "is reminiscent of similar practices in Cuba" and openly violates the human rights of Roberts, who, because she has Nicaraguan nationality, should not be prevented from entering the country.

IAPA condemns the closure of Trench of the News

The Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) condemned the recent closure and confiscation of the Nicaraguan portal Trinchera de la Noticia and noted that it is the fourth outlet officially closed in that country as a result of "hostile actions by the Nicaraguan government."

The IAPA, based in Miami, stressed that this attack against the independent press is a "retaliation for their criticism of the regime."

"This is the same rigged procedure, protected by a judicial system without independence and submissive to political power, used to close the 100% Noticias channel, the newspaper La Prensa and Confidencial, and convict six journalists," said Jorge Canahuati, president of the SIP.

"We reaffirm what was expressed in the Declaration on Nicaragua in which 27 national and international press organizations committed to fighting together in favor of the validity of freedom of expression and of the press in the country and against the Nicaraguan dictatorship," said Carlos Jornet, president of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information.

The PEN Uruguay team interview journalist Wilfredo Miranda

The Uruguayan PEN Center published an interview with Nicaraguan reporter Wilfredo Milranda, in which he talks about the situation of Nicaraguan journalism.

Wilfredo Miranda Aburto was born in 1991 in Nicaragua. He is barely 30 years old, but at 27 he had already received the prestigious Ibero-American Award at the King of Spain International Journalism Awards (2019), from the EFE Agency and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for his report «They shot with precision: to kill!».

Read the whole interview here.


OHCHR demands to open El Chipote prison to international scrutiny

The regime of Daniel Ortega has not only radicalized the repression in Nicaragua but also challenges the mandate of 20 member countries of the UN Human Rights Council, by preventing the entry of the Group of Independent Experts appointed to investigate human rights violations. This decision "does not lead anywhere", on the contrary, it deepens the national crisis, said the representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Central America (OHCHR), Alberto Brunori.

In an interview with the television program Esta Semana, Brunori referred to the most recent update of the oral report of High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet before the UN Human Rights Council, in which she expresses her Office's concern about prison conditions of political prisoners, the annulment of freedom of association in the country, the persecution against priests and bishops of the Catholic Church, and the increase in migration as a result of the sociopolitical crisis.

The regional representative of the UN Human Rights Office warns of the need for international human rights organizations to return to the country to help overcome the crisis. " We would like to be able to personally discuss (with the government) these data and see how to overcome the violations that we are detecting and that are reported to us," he said.

Close businesses in the craft market for selling "symbols of April"

Some keychains with the image of Lesther Alemán, the university student convicted of challenging Daniel Ortega in 2018 and who has been imprisoned for almost a year, were the reason for the Municipality of Managua to close a craft stall in the Roberto Huembes market, one of the shopping centers of the capital most visited by tourists.

Merchants who omitted their names out of fear told the digital publication Divergentes that the inspection began in early June in the sections that sell handicrafts, where officials from the Mayor's Office ordered the temporary closure of at least three businesses and applied fines of 140 dollars, for allegedly committing a "crime" by selling merchandise alluding to the April 2018 rebellion.

Other products questioned by the government envoys were t-shirts with slogans such as "Long live free Nicaragua" and "Que se rinda tu madre," as well as dolls with the Nicaraguan flag, which became a symbol of the protests against Ortega despite being the official ensign of the country.

US Sanctions Nicaraguan State Mining Company

On June 17, the United States government sanctioned the Nicaraguan state mining company that, with its gold exports, would have helped private partners of the government of Daniel Ortega pocket millions of dollars in exchange for bribes to officials.

The sanctions against the Nicaraguan Mining Company (ENIMINAS) also include Ruy López Delgado, the president of its board of directors.

The measure announced by the Treasury Department means that neither the company nor the official will be able to carry out commercial or financial operations of any kind in the United States, and that their assets are frozen in this country.

The United States assures that "the Ortega-Murillo regime manipulated the elections" through the "arbitrary imprisonment of the political opposition, the blocking of political parties, the closure of independent media, and the intimidation of civil society", and that it is deepening his relationship with Russia during the war with Ukraine, in addition to using and alleging gold export earnings to enrich his officials.

Nicaragua authorized the entry of Russian troops

With the vote of 78 legislators, on June 14, 2022, the entry of Russian troops into Nicaragua was authorized. According to decree 10-2022, Russian troops will be able to participate as of July 1 in “training and exchange exercises in humanitarian aid operations, search, rescue and rescue missions in emergency situations or natural disasters, with the forces land, Air Force and Naval Force of the Nicaraguan Army.

It also contemplates the "exchange of experiences, training, operations against illegal activities in maritime spaces in the Caribbean Sea and jurisdictional waters in the Pacific Ocean of Nicaragua, with the Nicaraguan Army Naval Force" and the "exchange of experiences and communication operational with ships and aircraft of the Nicaraguan Army in confrontation tasks and fight against drug trafficking and organized crime.

This fact has caused concern for various political actors. “Inviting Russian forces, Russian troops to exercises, even if they are humanitarian at a time when that country is invading a neighboring country, and committing human rights violations in Ukraine, seems to us to be a provocation by the Nicaraguan regime, and it is something a little dangerous for us”, declared Brian A. Nichols, Undersecretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the United States, to the German agency Deutsche Welle. •

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