planton presos políticos

CPDH: “All political trials have been plagued by annulments”

The Permanent Commission on Human Rights (CPDH) denounced serious irregularities to due process and the right to defense in judicial proceedings against political prisoners, which include obstacles to access to files before trial, the impediment to communicate with the accused and the attitude of judges who have a clear bias against prisoners of conscience.

In particular, they denounced the “illegal conviction” of the lawyer and human rights defender, María Oviedo, coordinator of the legal team of the CPDH, the peasants Medardo Mairena and Pedro Mena, all of them defended by the organization’s lawyers. A pattern that, they say, is repeated in the cases of other prisoners of conscience.

“They are confronting the State with all its might, which is attacking them without the right to defense and disrespect for their fundamental human rights,” warned defender Denis Darce, deputy secretary of the CPDH, at a press conference.

Darce recounted that based on the reports of the organization’s lawyers “in all cases since the beginning of their capture they have violated their right to be presented with a court order that explains the reason for the arrest (…) for this reason We believe that the trials should be declared null because the entire process has been riddled with illegalities.”

He explained that “in none of the cases has the detained person been allowed to communicate with family members at the time of their arrest and even less with their lawyers, which violates the Political Constitution of Nicaragua itself.”

Concern for the health of Dr. Oviedo

The agency described as “alarming” the situation of Dr. Oviedo, who was found guilty for allegedly violating Law 1055 or “Sovereignty Law” and the spread of false news, at the beginning of this third week of political trials, carried out closed door in the Directorate of Judicial Assistance, known as El Chipote.

The defender faced her political trial on February 14 and was found guilty. The Prosecutor’s Office asks for eight years in prison.

“We are concerned about the state of health of the political prisoners, especially the case of Dr. María Oviedo, and we say this because in the last contact we had with her, it was shown that she had lost significant weight and it was observed that she had damage to her skin,” said the executive secretary of the CPDH, Marcos Carmona.

Oviedo was arrested on July 29, 2021, when she was visiting her mother, Socorro Delgado, in León, and since then she has been subjected to constant interrogations, ill-treatment, and physical and psychological torture in the cells of El Chipote.

The CPDH has denounced that, in these more than seven months of incarceration, Oviedo has been subjected to interrogations where he is tortured by telling him that “he will never see his children”, he is denied any type of communication with the minors, he has only ten minutes of sunny patio a week and they keep her in her cell with the light on 24 hours a day.

The lawyers mentioned that Dr. Oviedo said “the accusation was changed from the preliminary hearing, when she had to use her own defense, until the trial, but we were unable to speak with her to find out the details.”

“Tests do not prove anything”

Darce pointed out that all the evidence presented in the trials “is not directly related to the facts” of which the political prisoners are accused.

“In the analysis of the evidence, there is a clear bias on the part of the judicial authority, which even protects the witnesses against cross-examination by the defender,” he said.

Twitter posts, retweets of messages from other people or international organizations, interviews with the media in which they ask for individual sanctions, interviews with police officers who contradict each other, messages on their cell phones, are some of the spurious evidence presented by the Ortega Prosecutor’s Office in trials against political prisoners.

“The political prisoners have been sentenced with ridiculous evidence that proves nothing, other than the thirst for revenge of the regime towards them. This is evidence that in any real trial would fall in two seconds, what they are doing borders on parody,” a human rights defender recently told CONFIDENCIAL, who for security reasons requested anonymity for this analysis.

“None of the evidence confirms the allegations. It’s that easy. That is why we affirm that this is a political trial that is intended to silence critical voices,” adds the defender.

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