The Nicaraguan newspaper La Prensa revealed this Thursday, July 21, that “journalists, editors, photographers and other staff” from its newsroom left the country, in the last two weeks, to “protect their safety and freedom” before the persecution and harassment of the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.
In a publication, La Prensa detailed that, “although all the people left irregularly due to fear of being detained at the country’s borders, several had to flee without taking their passports with them or carrying only expired documents, since For months the regime has refused to renew the travel documents of independent media journalists.”
La Prensa has accused the dictatorship of unleashing an intense “hunt” and persecution against its personnel. The night of last July 6, two newspaper drivers were illegally detained and later the Ortega justice ordered them to be held in custody for up to 90 days, without knowing the charges against them. Both citizens are imprisoned in the cells of the Judicial Assistance Directorate (DAJ), known as El Chipote.
La Prensa indicated that the persecution was directed at the team that covered Nicaragua’s expulsion of the 18 Missionaries of Charitywho are already in Costa Rica.
“The arrests were followed by raids on the homes of various journalists, photographers and other media personnel. This situation forced La Prensa to place its personnel in shelter and subsequently remove them from the country,” the publication stressed.
“Despite the fact that the staff is not in their homes, police and civilians continue to come to their homes to harass their families,” he said.
Twice raided by the Police
The facilities of La Prensa have been occupied by the Police since August 13, 2021. The dictatorship has also raided the facilities of CONFIDENTIAL, This week and the 100% News channel.
A journalist from La Prensa, quoted in an Infobae article, reported anonymously that “my house was raided twice with a huge amount of police. They seized all my work equipment. My physical integrity was already in danger, so I had to apply the protocol I had and look for safe houses, shelter, and then I had to leave the country.”
“I am persecuted just for being an independent journalist and working for a critical media outlet in Nicaragua. That makes power uncomfortable and makes you its enemy,” the journalist commented.
The organization Nicaraguan Independent Journalists and Communicators (PCIN) has recorded, in the last two weeks, the departure of 15 Nicaraguan journalists through blind spots on the border, although there could be “more cases.” These communicators join the more than 120 reporters who have gone into exile due to harassment by the regime.
In a recent interview with the program Tonightthe rapporteur for freedom of expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Pedro Vaca Villarreal, denounced a plan to “exterminate journalism as work in Nicaragua”after an increase in persecution against independent journalists.
“The report of raids, persecutions, journalists in their family environments, of any life and relationship is constant. There are symptoms to believe that there is a plan to exterminate journalism, that it disappear as work in Nicaragua,” Vaca warned.
In a statement from the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), its president Jorge Canahuati stated that “we hold the regime responsible for what can happen to each of the La Prensa workers, victims of abuse, intolerance and lack of respect for their fundamental rights”.
“Faced with the new attack against La Prensa, we reiterate our urgent call to restore freedoms in Nicaragua, where the regime acts with total discretion, without facing consequences for its repressive actions,” said the president of the Committee on Freedom of the Press. and Information from the IAPA, Carlos Jornet.
Both IAPA directors have reiterated the request for the immediate release of journalists Miguel Mora, Miguel Mendoza and Jaime Arellano, as well as members of the board of directors of La Prensa Cristiana Chamorro, Pedro Joaquín Chamorro and its general manager Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro.
*With information from EFE