Arbitrary detentions, physical and verbal repression, threats, closures of facilities, thefts of equipment and even ostensible kidnappings… Daniel Ortega’s regime has made use of all of these measures to sow terror and stifle free thought in Nicaragua, a country experiencing challenging times for its democratic systems, with systematic human rights violations.
IFEX-ALC is sending a joint delegation alongside the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC-ALC) and the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) to the UN Office in Geneva in the run-up to Nicaragua’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 15 May.
Journalists Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda Ubau have been held in pre-trial detention on charges of “inciting violence and hate” and “promoting terrorism” since their arrests in December 2018.
IAPA condemned the administrative censorship imposed by the Nicaraguan government on La Prensa and El Nuevo Diario, by withholding the delivery of supplies for the publication of the two newspapers.
In a letter to President Daniel Ortega, journalists and advocates expressed alarm over the recent escalation of aggression against media outlets and journalists covering civil unrest and documenting human rights abuses by police and paramilitary groups.
Since April 2018, when demonstrations against the Ortega government began, Nicaragua has suffered serious setbacks to the rights to freedom of expression and access to information
The persecution of Nicaragua’s political opposition and media critics has not let up since April. But now, instead of just obstructing journalists covering protests and social unrest, the police are undertaking direct, violent action against those regarded as overly critical of the government.
Dozens of social media accounts have been sharing photos and videos of freelance journalist Carl David Goette-Luciak, in posts accusing him of attempting to destabilize the country and being a Central Intelligence Agency operative in Nicaragua.
Amid a violent crackdown on demonstrators that has killed at least 300 people, more Nicaraguan media outlets are providing hard-hitting reports about government abuses and some have joined in the calls for Ortega to resign.
IFEX-ALC members condemn the recent threats, attacks, harassment, and censorship against media outlets and journalists in Nicaragua.
Since protests broke out in Nicaragua on 18 April 2018, at least 270 people have been killed and over 1,500 have been injured, in most cases at the hands of police officers and pro-government armed gangs. There has been no indication that key officials have taken steps to prevent and punish violations
The government’s violent crackdown on the protests, which human rights groups say has killed more than 300 people, caught most Nicaraguans, including journalists, off guard. Now, reporters and editors are scrambling to protect themselves.
In a week full of tense confrontations between protesters and police, there were several acts of violence against journalists, including the deplorable murder of reporter Ángel Gahona.