The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression (RELE) condemned this Wednesday “the arbitrary closure” of seven Catholic radio stations in Nicaragua, as well as the violent entry of police into a parish.
“#CIDH and @RELE_CIDH condemn the arbitrary closure of 7 Catholic radio stations of the Diocese of Matagalpa in Nicaragua; and the violent entry of the Police into the Infant Jesus of Prague chapel on August 1, from where radio and television equipment would have been taken,” said that autonomous body of the OAS in a tweet.
The IACHR and the RELE asked the State of Nicaragua to “cease the constant attacks against the Catholic Church” and “refrain from using its powers in telecommunications as a measure to limit or prevent the circulation of information, ideas and opinions.”
The Government of President Daniel Ortega, through the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Post Office (Telcor), ordered the closure of eight Catholic stations on Monday, amid friction between the Executive and the Catholic Church.
#IACHR Y @RELE_IACHR condemn the arbitrary closure of 7 Catholic radio stations of the Diocese of Matagalpa in #Nicaragua; and the violent entry of the Police into the Infant Jesus Chapel of Prague on #1Augustwhere they would have taken radio and TV equipment. https://t.co/lEneOTkNYv pic.twitter.com/m8K0L0GsyX
— IACHR – IACHR (@IACHR) August 3, 2022
The stations affected are Radio Hermanos, Radio Nuestra Señora de Lourdes, Radio Nuestra Señora de Fátima, Radio Alliens, Radio Monte Carmelo, Radio San José, Radio Católica de Sébaco, and Radio Santa Lucía, administered by the Diocese of Matagalpa (north), led by Bishop Rolando Álvarez, one of the strongest critics of President Ortega.
Telcor, the sector’s regulatory body, also canceled the license of the private radio station Radio Vos, a community and feminist radio station, which was broadcast on modulated frequency (FM) in the department of Matagalpa.
He also ordered the removal of the local channel RB 3 “El Canal de la Zona Láctea” from the air, whose programming was broadcast through subscription television in Matagalpa, arguing that “it does not have authorization from this Regulatory Entity to operate as a channel. of local content.
The United States criticizes Ortega’s “brutal attack”
On your side, the main person in charge of the US Department of State for Latin America, Brian Nichols, He said in a tweet that “Ortega-Murillo’s brutal attack against Catholic clergy, radio facilities and community members in (the municipality of) Sébaco is another blow to freedom of religion and expression in Nicaragua.”
“How can men and women in uniform (many people of faith) carry out such orders?” asked the US diplomat.
The Nicaraguan Police entered the Divina Misericordia parish by force on Monday night in order to seize the equipment of one of the eight Catholic radio stations closed by the authorities.
Police agents keep that parish occupied and the priest Uriel Vallejos is being held in a bedroom, who, according to the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh), has worsened his conditions.
Nicaragua has been experiencing a political and social crisis since April 2018, which has been accentuated after the controversial elections last November in which Daniel Ortega was re-elected for a fifth term, fourth consecutive and second along with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president, with their main contenders in prison.