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  HOME | Central America

Thousands of Nicaraguans Demand Immediate Release of Political Prisoners

MANAGUA – Some 5,000 Nicaraguans took to the streets of Managua on Wednesday to demand that the Daniel Ortega government immediately release everyone who has been jailed during the socio-political crisis besetting the country since April 18, and calling for “peace and justice for Nicaragua,” a young activist said.

Douglas Mata said that “It’s urgent that all those people who were arrested just for thinking differently to the way established by the government be released.”

The government “killed many people, jailed hundreds of people, tortured, massacred and constantly repressed, and that create a certain fear in anybody, which is what we are. We’re not heroes and we don’t want to die, and so there came a moment when we moved away from the struggle a little, although we never left. But now we’re back with more strength than ever,” Mata said.

During the march, which moved through Managua’s most populous and humble neighborhoods, participants chanted the traditional slogans demanding peace, freedom, justice and democracy in Nicaragua.

Despite the fact that the mobilization was more numerous than recent demonstrations organized by other anti-government groups, the April 19 Movement said that anti-riot police blocked the passage of hundreds of people who were headed to Managua from different parts of the country to participate in the protest.

Currently, according to various human rights organizations, there are some 135 political prisoners being held in the country’s prisons for protesting against the Ortega government.

Nicaragua is going through its bloodiest crisis since the 1980s, when Ortega was also president, and this time around between 317-448 people have died, according to various humanitarian organizations although the government puts the death toll at 198.

The wave of protests against Ortega and his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo, were launched on April 18 to protest government reform of the social security system, but they morphed into a call for the resignation of the couple, who have been in power for 11 years but are accused of abuse of power and corruption.

 

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