Ap and Sputnik

La Jornada newspaper
Sunday, November 21, 2021, p. 26

Managua. Relatives of opponents imprisoned in Nicaragua since May, in the context of the recent electoral process, yesterday denounced a worrying deterioration in the health of the detainees and asked the government of Daniel Ortega for their immediate and unrestricted release.

In a statement distributed to the press, the relatives said that constant interrogations, food restrictions and permanent isolation persist, especially in the case of four opposition leaders confined in solitary cells.

My husband has lost 31 pounds (about 14 kilos) since he was captured five months ago, said Deyanira Parrales, wife of former Sandinista vicar Víctor Hugo Tinoco. They do not allow us to deliver food to you and restrict hygiene products. We bring him 10 masks a week and they only give him one, he added.

Parrales saw Tinoco on Monday, when the authorities of the capital prison known as El Chipote authorized the third visit. There are 39 opponents detained since the end of May, including seven political leaders who aspired to the presidency in the disputed elections of November 7, in which Ortega was reunited for a fourth consecutive term.

Interrogations of my husband continue on a daily basis, he is not allowed assistance from his lawyer and he receives almost no sun. His deterioration is reflected in the fact that he must now take double doses of anxiolytic, antidepressant and antihypertensive medications, said Parrales, who demanded the government’s immediate release of Tinoco, whose daughter suffers from cancer and needs his care.

In their statement, the family members denounced that the inmates suffer excruciating cold at night, as they are not allowed to give them bedding, blankets or coats. Some prisoners are kept with the lights on 24 hours a day, while others are in the dark, they detailed.

Most of the cells are small, with concrete beds whose mats are deteriorated from constant use; this causes skin lesions and muscle pain, the text denounced. They remain under constant police surveillance, without access to books, news or other activity that links them to the world, he said.

According to the report, the opposition members Tamara Dávila, Ana Margarita Vijil, Suyén Barahona and Dora María Téllez, leaders of the Unamos movement, are subjected to permanent isolation. They are confined in solitary cells, and Dávila’s is completely sealed.

Among the imprisoned opponents are student leaders Lesther Alemán and Max Jerez, who receive little food, continue to lose weight and suffer from constant migraines, said a press release from the Nicaraguan University Alliance (AUN), to which they belong. Alemán’s mother, Lesbia Alfaro, told the local press that she fears for the life of her son, who rebuked Ortega in the first national dialogue (2018) and ordered him to surrender and leave his post.

The Ap requested an official comment in the office of the vice president, Rosario Murillo, but did not receive a response at the moment.

In a statement yesterday, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights regretted the Nicaraguan government’s decision to withdraw from the Organization of American States (OAS) in a context of serious human rights violations, and urged Ortega to reconsider his decision.

Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada notified OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro on Friday that Nicaragua decided to denounce the Constitutive Charter of the hemispheric forum as a first step towards his resignation and definitive withdrawal from an organization he accuses of interference in the internal affairs and be an instrument of the interests of the American empire.

The government of Cuba, beginning with the country’s president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, expressed its support for the decision of the Nicaraguan authorities to renounce their membership of the OAS, in a decision that the president has described as a lesson in dignity against an institution called by the United States Department of Colonies.