San José, October 14, 2018.- Once again this morning the regime of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega repressed a peaceful protest and arrested a score of people, including women political leaders from the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS), activists, and human rights defenders.
The mass arrest was made during a demonstration demanding freedom for political prisoners, who number close to 400. At this moment, the following list of persons being detained has been confirmed: 1. Mauricio Ríos; 2. Lolo Blandino Arana; 3. Suyen Barahona; 4. José Antonio Peraza; 5. Tamara Dávila; 6. Ana Margarita Vigil; 7. Francisco Ortega; 8. Marvin Reyes; 9. Gustavo Adolfo Vargas; 10. Ramiro Lacayo; 11. Alba Aragón; 12. Ana Lucía Álvarez; 13. María de los Ángeles Gutiérrez; 16. Marlen Chow; 17. Marcela Martínez; 18. Alan Cordero; 29, Alejandra Machado; 20. Mauricio Ríos and 21. Geisel Solís.
This new wave of violence is another example of the authoritarianism and the absence of democratic guarantees in Nicaragua. The government has completely shut down opportunities for citizen participation, placing absolute limits on freedom of expression and the right to peaceful protest, rights that are fundamental to democratic exercise.
Recently the government refused to participate in a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, where various organizations testified about the violence that the government exercises against demonstrators and the population of the country.
The Center for Justice and International Law is making an urgent call for the immediate release of the individuals being detained. Likewise, we demand information from the authorities about the whereabouts and the conditions under which these individuals are being held.
Lastly, we call on the international community to redouble diplomatic efforts, so that democracy and peace return to this Central American country.