President Daniel Ortega Has started a personal crusade Against the Church of Nicaragua. The National Assembly, controlled by the president, approved a statement on Wednesday accusing the country’s bishops and priests of participating in the coup attempt and expressing “hatred and malice” against government supporters. It is recommended to try the religion supported in the assembly speech 2018 Demonstrations -When there was a social upheaval demanding the end of the order of the former Santinista guerrilla- and the confiscation of the church property. The document suggests that “because they are hiding behind religious people, they should be investigated and their communities or associations fully investigated.”
Ortega has unleashed a brutal hunt against critical voices. This Thursday, former diplomat and former diocesan priest Edgar Barrels was convicted of crimes related to “treason against the country,” defending the Sandinista Revolution while defending the theology of youth at a young age. On April 27, a Managua judge found him guilty of a felony trial by human rights groups. At a hearing led by Judge Nadia Tordensilla, the former Nicaraguan ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) was acquitted during the revolutionary government of the 1980s. “I am recognized by the history of Nicaragua’s life and commitment to security,” said Parrales, a 79-year-old senior political prisoner.
Nicaraguan Church Ortega is united against the regime, He criticizes for human rights violations. During the 2018 protests, priests used temples to protect protesters from the regime’s brutal repression, which killed more than 350 people, according to the Inter – American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). In this Central American country, the clergy have become a moat in their messages condemning the abuse of power and calling on the people to stand firm against government repression.
In a statement approved Wednesday, delegates vowed to reconsider the penal code, saying it would include “hate speech” about religion or people who are considered participants in promoting the protests. The document, according to lawmakers, is based on the testimonies of those they consider victims of the protests, mainly sympathizers of the government. This does not include relatives of those killed by the regime, mainly mothers who have been organized to seek justice since 2018, as most of the dead are young students. “The punishments for the victims should be very severe and justice should be done to the directors of the religious and human rights organizations involved in the coup d’tat,” the statement said. The Nicaraguan Church does not judge in this document.
Attack on civilian organizations
At the same session on Wednesday, the legislature banned 50 civil society organizations, claiming they were not accountable to the government under the provisions of the law declaring them “foreign agents”. Under the law, all companies receiving funds from abroad are required to declare how they are used, subject to the penalty of losing their records. They are “organizations that do not want to be held accountable and do not want to say where their funding comes from and from which countries,” said Filiberto Rodriguez, the so-called Deputy Secretary of Defense for Parliament.
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Many organizations working for the rights of women and LGBTI people were abolished, such as the feminist regional program La Corriente. Maria Theresa Blandon, director of the organization, Explained to the magazine Confidential The regime has “no legal basis to try to interfere and control the dynamics of civil society organizations” and has confirmed that we live in a “police state” in Nicaragua. By the end of Wednesday, 200 organizations were already banned in Nicaragua, including half a dozen universities that were strongholds of the 2018 student protests.
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