Journalist association condemns "confiscation" of media group in Nicaragua

The Association of Journalists of Nicaragua (APN) today condemned the "confiscation of property" of a group of critical media with the government of President Daniel Ortega, in the context of the crisis that the country has been living since April with hundreds of deaths and arrested.

"APN strongly condemns the confiscatory action of the assets of this week, this night and confidential, privately owned and directed by journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro," said the agency in a statement.

"These actions are the true face of the socialist project Orteguista that try to submit citizen rights to the caprice of the new paramilitary dictatorship," he added.

The Police of Nicaragua raided and forcibly took the building where the digital magazines Confidencial and Niú, and the television programs Esta Semana and Esta Noche, which, according to their director Chamorro, apparently want to link the Government with the Center of Communication Research (Five).

Chamorro, son of the former president Violeta Barrios (1990-1997), was director of the NGO Cinco, to which the Parliament removed its legal personality. However, their offices are located in a different place from the headquarters where the digital magazines work.

In addition to the media group, Cabal works in the building, run by Desirée Elizondo, wife of the journalist.

Chamorro, awarded the 4th Casa América Catalunya Prize for Freedom of Expression in Ibero-America in 2009, and in 2010 with the María Moors Cabot Prize, on Saturday demanded the authorities for the search of their companies and described the occupation of the building as a "confiscation".

His claim took him to the police headquarters, where riot officers beat journalists and photographers who covered the complaint.

"We call dignified and courageous journalism to close ranks against all these abuses of freedom of expression and unite in the thinking of the martyr of public libertas, Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal," advocated the APN.

That union also condemned the dispossession of legal status and "assault" against nine civil society organizations, which the Parliament, controlled by the ruling party, outlawed.

"These actions of the Daniel Ortega regime confirm what APN has been denouncing since Ortega regained power (in 2007) to run over public liberties and the most elementary rights of our Constitution," he continued.

Nicaragua is experiencing a social and political crisis that has generated protests against the Ortega government and a balance of between 325 and 545 deaths, according to local and foreign human rights organizations, while the Executive figure in 199 deaths.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) have blamed the government for "more than 300 deaths," as well as extrajudicial executions, torture and other abuses against demonstrators and opponents.

Ortega has denied the accusations and has assured that it is an attempt of "coup d'état".

The demonstrations against Ortega and Murillo began on April 18 due to failed social security reforms and became a demand for the president's resignation.


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