More than 2,100 political prisoners in six years;  The Ortega regime still has 138 Nicas subjected to "torture"

More than 2,100 political prisoners in six years; The Ortega regime still has 138 Nicas subjected to “torture”

He Mechanism for the Recognition of Political Prisoners reported that, until April 15, 2024, the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo keeps imprisoned 138 prisoners of conscience in the different prisons of the country, subjected to “systematic violations of their human rights.”

As part of the commemoration of the sixth anniversary of the 2018 civic protests, the organization released a report on social networks, detailing that “between February 1 and April 15, 2024, 12 arbitrary arrests, for possible motivations of political persecution, releasing seven people and leaving five under study.

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Of the total figure, 23 are women and 115 men. The data also includes 10 political prisoners who were detained before the socio-political crisis of 2018 and 18 older adults, “deprived of liberty in inhuman conditions, without their fundamental rights being respected.”

The Mechanism also reported that “three political prisoners are in a state of forced disappearance, with no information provided by the police authorities about their legal or physical situation.”

«The absence of news about the whereabouts and well-being of these people constitutes a clear violation of their fundamental human rights and an affront to justice and human dignity, which implies the deprivation of a person’s freedom by agents of the State, followed of the refusal to acknowledge his arrest or to provide information about his whereabouts and condition,” the report denounces.

More torture for political prisoners

Likewise, the organization highlighted that the situation in prisons for political prisoners is “alarming” and “is characterized by systematic violations of human rights.” “In the last two months, numerous cases of unfair judicial processes have been documented, where basic legal guarantees have been ignored and arbitrary sentences have been imposed,” the report indicates.

Cases of torture, ill-treatment, beatings, sleep deprivation, threats and humiliation continue to be the main attacks suffered by prisoners of conscience. The Mechanism highlighted that these violent practices aim to “intimidate and silence the political opposition, creating a climate of fear and repression throughout the country.”

Another new repressive measure that has been implemented in prisons is “the constant shaving of prisoners, carried out every two days to cause skin irritation.” According to the jailers, this is done in order to “be ready for any eventuality,” in reference to another “express” exile to the United States, like the one that occurred in February 2023.

More than 2,100 political prisoners in six years; The Ortega regime still has 138 Nicas subjected to "torture"
The Jorge Navarro National Penitentiary System, known as “La Modelo”, is one of the prisons where the regime keeps the most political prisoners. Photo: Confidential.

Another type of attack on those deprived of liberty is the “new control modality that involves counting prisoners before 5 in the morning”, as well as “the increase in night surveillance with riot equipment, gas masks and dogs.”

Currently, family members who visit prisoners, whether political or ordinary, are required to “leave all packages at a designated point, where they are checked by trained dogs.” The organization reported that the authorities “have prevented them from bringing food in plastic containers, as was done previously, and families have had to look for transparent bags to pack the food.”

The Mechanism points out that “the situation of these people is alarming and as time passes the risk of irreversible damage to their lives increases. “23% of people detained between 2018 and 2022 being political prisoners reinforces the continued need for attention and action on this matter.”

More than two thousand prisoners in five years

As a result of the civic rebellion of April 2018, the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship has arrested a total of 2,090 political prisoners, according to the most recent report of the Follow-up Mechanism for Nicaragua (Meseni), of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

The organization published the list of those deprived of liberty for political reasons that covers from April 18, 2018 to February 10, 2023, this last date was when the regime exiled 222 political prisoners to the United States. Of the total number of detainees in these five years, 1,879 are men, 202 women and 6 transgender women.

Related news: Nicaraguan dictatorship accumulates 2,090 political prisoners in five years

“The number of people detained represents only a fraction of a larger universe that is difficult to project due to the partial information provided by the State and other factors related to the dynamics and nature of arbitrary detentions,” the organization highlights.

According to the IACHR, the list of those deprived of liberty for political reasons is a public and updated version that is constantly under construction through the analysis of partial information from the State and that provided by civil society organizations.

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