International PEN denounces “harassment and persecution against the Catholic Church”

The International PEN organization, through the “Ojo con Nicaragua” observatory, criticizes the increase in harassment against the Catholic Church and the closure of the diocese’s media outlets in the country, by the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.

“The Nicaraguan government, through the National Police, increased its surveillance and siege against figures from the Catholic Church, including Bishop Rolando Álvarez, a staunch critic of the regime. In addition, through the state institute of Telecommunications and Post Office (Telcor), the government ordered the Claro telephone company to eliminate channel 51 or Canal Católico, owned by the Church, from its programming, after which the television station was immediately taken off the air. , rejects the defense organization, made up of writers and journalists worldwide.

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They highlight the closure of the newspaper Voz Católica de Nicaragua, as part of the attack against Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), after Parliament canceled the legal status of the Association of Catholic Publishers. The newspaper circulated for more than 15 years in the departments of Managua, Carazo and Masaya.

International PEN denounces "harassment and persecution against the Catholic Church"
PEN denounces attack against the media in Nicaragua. Photo: Courtesy

The organization denounces that this onslaught is added to the closure of the “Bluefields Catholic Radio, in the framework of an escalation by the government against the Catholic Church and several of its priests and bishops.” The report includes the persecution of the Ortega and Murillo regime unleashed against Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, the priest Harving Padilla, from Masaya, and Father Uriel Vallejos, from Sébaco.

Ortega recently imprisoned the priest from Nandaime Manuel Salvador García, ordering him preventive detention. The priest is accused of the alleged crime of physical and psychological violence. The initial hearing against him will be held on June 17.

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Until May 25, the National Police maintained surveillance over two parishes where a bishop and a priest were present, who described the presence of regime agents as a siege and harassment.

The Nicaraguan opposition has condemned what it considers to be a smear campaign by the Executive and the Sandinistas against the Catholic Church, and has recalled the persecution that the religious suffered during the first Sandinista regime (1979-1990) where a bishop was exiled, a priest stripped naked, ten others expelled and one accused of being a “counterrevolutionary.”



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