Nicaragua is facing an overwhelming social and economic crisis, in which the struggle for the liberation of political prisoners and the denunciation of the continued harassment of activists and their families is of enormous importance. As of August 5, there were 99 political prisoners, ten of whom have been imprisoned since before the rebellion of 2018.
In spite of the fact that an amnesty was issued in June 2019, reducing the number of political prisoners from around 700 to a hundred, the groups for the defense of political prisoners describe the continuity of the persecution with the metaphor of the “revolving door,” since dozens of people who were released from prison have been victims of new arrests. The amnesty also had a great popular repudiation for being designed to leave in impunity the repressive crimes of orteguismo itself, which killed more than 400 people in the repression against the rebellion of 2018. The persecution against all forms of worker, student and popular dissidence has continued with massive expulsions of students from public universities and the carrying out of numerous judicial farces.
Between May 4 and August 4 of this year, there were 63 arrests of dissidents. Of the current political prisoners, 20 are activists who were released and later recaptured. Among the prisoners there are people who have not been formerly charged with any crime or who have been acquitted of the false crimes they have been accused of but are still arbitrarily detained. One of the methods preferred by the orteguista police is to fabricate accusations of drug possession in order to imprison opposition activists and impose long prison sentences. One of the political prisoners, student Kevin Solis, was sentenced to ten years in prison after an Ortega sympathizer accused him of stealing the equivalent of $15. He has been subjected to solitary confinement and torture.
The health of dozens of prisoners has deteriorated as a result of the appalling sanitary conditions in the prisons. More than 40 prisoners have reported having been infected with covid19 . Peasant leader Justo Rodríguez, arrested for protesting on the second anniversary of the 2018 rebellion, suffered a stroke while in confinement at the end of August, and his sister Emerita Rodríguez has also been arrested for denouncing the situation. Police and paramilitary harassment of the families of those detained for political reasons is recurrent.
Several political prisoners and their families denounce that the traditional opposition parties do very little to obtain their freedom. The capitalists and the traditional parties have made numerous agreements with Ortega since he returned to power in 2007, through an electoral Alliance with various members of the former Contra, such as his vice president until 2012, Morales Carazo. We support the attempts of sectors of the Nicaraguan youth and working people to constitute a political alternative to consistently fight for democratic freedoms and against exploitative and plundering capitalism in Nicaragua. We call on the workers’ and popular organizations of Latin America and the world to show solidarity (*) with the demand for freedom for all people imprisoned for political reasons in Nicaragua.
International Workers’ Unity-Fourth International (IWU-FI)
September 2, 2020
(*) P.S.: We are currently promoting gathering signatures for this campaign
We, activists and members of political, trade union, peasant, women’s, student and popular organizations, demand that the government of Nicaragua immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners.
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