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The number of arrests by the opposition in Nicaragua climbs to 26 – EURACTIV.com


Police said on Tuesday (July 6) that Nicaragua had arrested the sixth presidential candidate and four other opposition figures, bringing the number of people rounded up by long-time leader Daniel Ortega’s army to 26 before the November elections.

The five people were arrested on Monday night on charges of threatening the “sovereignty” of Nicaragua, just like the previous 21 people.

These allegations are based on a law initiated by Ortega and approved by Parliament in December, which has been widely criticized as a means to freeze challengers and silence opponents before elections, and it is widely expected that he will seek continuous The fourth term.

In the raid that began on June 2, security and paramilitary forces arrested the 75-year-old Ortega presidential candidate, critics, politicians, businessmen and former comrades.

He once stated that they were a “criminal” seeking to overthrow him with the support of the United States, but the arrest aroused condemnation of Ortega from the international community, and the United States referred to him as a “dictator.”

New U.S. sanctions calling for the release of opposition figures in Nicaragua

The international community on Wednesday (June 9) urged Nicaragua to release four recently detained opposition presidential candidates because the United States announced sanctions on the allies of long-serving leader Daniel Ortega.

Four people were detained-the last two were rounded up…

The police statement said that the five people held on Monday included presidential candidate Medado Mairena, as well as Freddie Navas and Pedro Mena.

The three are the leaders of the Nicaraguan peasant movement and are accused by the government of planning to kill, kidnap or harm police agents in a protest against the Ortega government and its wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo in 2018.

Mairena and Mena have been sentenced to 200 years in prison for “terrorism” and other suspected involvement in protests, but received an amnesty in June 2019.

Also on Monday were students Lester Aleman and Max Jerez, who were the “leaders” of the university’s blockade during the 2018 demonstration. The government condemned the demonstration as “a failure coup”.

The five were accused of “undermining independence and sovereignty”, “inciting foreign interference” and “applauding” sanctions against the Nicaraguan government.

In addition to Mairena, five other presidential candidates were arrested: Christiana Chamorro and her cousin Juan Sebastian Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Felic Marathiaga and Miguel Mora.

“Every day there are more, and the possibility of free, fair and even elections in Nicaragua is getting farther and farther away. The siege and persecution of dissenting voices has never stopped,” said Antonia Urrejola, president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. .

‘Poor humans’

Julie Zhong, the top US diplomat in Latin America, said: “We strongly condemn” the recent arrests, adding that this “highlights the regime’s fear of any opposition.”

But Vice President Murillo criticized the opposition as “tragic human beings.”

Amnesty International described the arrests as a shameless “challenge” to the international community’s condemnation of the government’s “more human rights violations”.

Chamorro is the daughter of Violeta Barrios de Chamorro. She defeated Ortega in the 1990 presidential election and ended the 11-year spell of the former guerrillas at the helm in Nicaragua.

He returned to power in 2007 and has since won two re-elections, but has been accused by opposition and NGOs of increasing authoritarianism.

Cristiana Chamorro is widely regarded as the favorite in defeating Ortega this round.

On Tuesday, the European Union said it was considering new sanctions against the Ortega regime.

“Nicaragua is caught in a whirlpool of repression,” Jose Puborel, EU foreign policy chief, told lawmakers in the European Parliament.

“It is unbelievable that these elections will be a far cry from democratic competition.”





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