The US describes the charges against Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando Álvarez as "unfounded"

The US describes the charges against Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando Álvarez as “unfounded”

The United States government assured this Friday that the charges presented by the Nicaraguan justice system against Bishop Rolando Álvarez, a critic of President Daniel Ortega, “are unfounded” and a “clear violation of human rights and the rule of law.”

In response to a query from voice of america on the case, the State Department highlighted that in recent months, “the regime” continued to send priests and laymen to jail, and has forced the closure of Catholic radio stations and even has expelled the nuns of the Sisters of Charity of Mother Teresa.

Álvarez, 56 years old and current bishop of Matagalpa and apostolic administrator of Estelí, was sent to trial on January 10 after being accused of the alleged crimes of conspiracy and propagation of false news to the detriment of the State.

Judge Gloria María Saavedra Corrales, who is in charge of the bishop’s case, maintained the precautionary measure of house arrest.

The State Department reiterated that the United States and members of the international community have taken steps to promote accountability for the actions of the Ortega-Murillo regime and will continue to do so.

“We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Bishop Álvarez and all other political prisoners who have been unjustly detained,” the State Department added.

More than 15 criminal proceedings against priests in 2022

The Nicaraguan government began the year 2023 by prohibiting different religious activities in the country and accelerating legal proceedings against priests, organizations and lay people denounced the Voice of America.

However, 2022 was marked by more than 140 attacks against the prelates and the institution they represent and 15 criminal proceedings were opened against priests of the Catholic Church, according to an investigation by the Nicaraguan Martha Patricia Molina, from the Observatory for Transparency and Anti-Corruption.

The Ortega government has branded the Catholic Church as a “coup plotter” for harboring protesters in temples during anti-government protests in 2018, which left more than 300 deadaccording to human rights organizations.

Ortega, who has been in power for more than 15 consecutive years, has also called priests “false prophets” for asking him to stop human rights violations.

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