Presos políticos Nicaragua, El Chipote

Political prisoners in El Chipote received visits in the New Year

The regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo finally authorized this weekend of December 31 and January 1, a family visit to the political prisoners who are in the Directorate of Judicial Assistance, known as El Chipote, on the occasion of the festivities end of year and New Year.

The meeting, number 14 in 19 months of confinement, was attended by the minor children of the political prisoners and their closest relatives.

In the case of prisoners of conscience who have their children abroad, they were able to see photographs of them although, once the meeting was over, they could not keep them.

This is the last of three special visits to prisoners of conscience that the regime authorized on the occasion of the La Purísima, Christmas and New Year festivities, according to a statement that the Police released in early December.

These three special meetings are the first that the regime has authorized since it imprisoned some thirty social, political, student leaders and presidential candidates, at the end of May 2021, as part of a repressive escalation in the framework of the electoral farce, in which Ortega and his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo, were re-elected without political competition.

The visits also took place after multiple civil society campaigns demanding respect for the human rights of political prisoners and the submission of a hunger strike by the sports writer, Miguel Mendoza; the lawyer Róger Reyes; the presidential candidate, Miguel Mora, and the opposition leader, Tamara Dávila, to demand to see their children. Likewise, political prisoners Irving Larios and Dora María Téllez were deprived of food to demand an end to the torture system.

The relatives, who have also been victims of torture imposed by the Ortega regime, according to human rights defenders, have demanded a “Christmas without political prisoners”. However, Ortega has omitted any request for his release.

Rather, the harassment and persecution against dissident voices, relatives of prisoners of conscience, journalists, territorial and religious leaders, and their own supporters intensified, bringing the list of prisoners of conscience to more than 235 at the end of 2022.

The previous visit

During the Christmas visit, the family of the president of the Unión Democrática Renovadora (Unamos) and current political prisoner, Suyen Barahona, reported that —after a year and a half of imprisonment and incommunicado conditions— finally the Daniel Ortega regime allowed his relative had a phone call with her five-year-old son, who is with his father living abroad for security reasons.

“We want to share that yesterday, December 25, the visit to Suyen took place. She was able to see photos of the child and received a letter. Finally, after a year and a half, she was able to have a call with her son. It was a long-awaited moment for both of them,” said the family of the political prisoner in a press release.

The family of the sports writer and current political prisoner, Miguel Mendoza, also reported that this was the second Christmas that his relative spent in prison. In 2021 they were not even allowed to have any kind of communication with him, so they —mainly Alejandra, his eight-year-old daughter— felt very excited to see him and hug him this December 25.

“In this difficult, painful and unfair process, we have learned to live in faith and leave everything in God’s hands. We can share that he has heard our prayers, he has witnessed our suffering and even more so that of a girl who, in these 18 months, had only asked for a hug from her father,” warned Margin Pozo, wife of the political prisoner.

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