They demand “strong measures” from the UN to stop the “unstoppable repression” against the Catholic Church in Nicaragua

Human rights organizations denounced, at the Forum on Religious Freedom at the United Nations (UN), the systematic repression of the Daniel Ortega regime against the Catholic Church of Nicaragua that has triggered the closure of Catholic radio stations, the expulsion of nuns , the imprisonment of priests and the prohibition of processions.

“Nicaragua is a highly Catholic country and our political constitution establishes that we have freedom of religion, therefore there should be no discrimination on religious grounds. But, what the government wants to avoid is that the pastors denounce human rights violations and therefore they have dedicated themselves to imprisoning the voices of denunciation, so there is no legal reason that they have more than these that have been invented » , referred to the plenary the lawyer of the Permanent Commission of Human Rights (CPDH) Leyla Padro.

Related news: Ortega dictatorship expels the Religious of the Cross from Nicaragua

“What the government has so far about the church is the silence that they do not continue to denounce the abuses committed among the population, in prison or in exile,” added the human rights defender during the forum that was held in the framework of the 77th UN General Assembly.

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#UNGA77 We present the Religious Freedom Forum held within the framework of the 77th United Nations General Assembly. 20 independent media from #Nicaragua united against censorship #VocesEnLibertad

Posted by Voices in Freedom on Thursday, September 22, 2022

The Nicaraguan Human Rights Collective Never Again also raised its complaint, stating that “the situation in the country worsens every day due to the abuse of power and impunity. All crimes against priests and religious remain in total impunity, for this the regime implements different repressive actions that contain the violation of the most elementary human rights, “said lawyer and defender Juan Carlos Arce.

“The regime intends to silence one of the most legitimate and powerful voices in Nicaragua, which is the voice of the Catholic Church, which maintains a large presence in rural areas. This unstoppable repression by Ortega violates freedom of thought, expression and religion, which are the main pillars of freedom,” he added.

Related news: Ortega attacks the Church because it is the only space that “has not bent its arm,” says an analyst

In August, the Police at the service of the dictatorship imposed Monsignor Rolando Álvarez in de facto prison and the eight people, including priests and laity, who accompanied the bishop in the Curia remain detained in El Nuevo Chipote.

Four other priests have been arrested since June of this year and others have had to go into exile, such as the case of Father Uriel Vallejos, who is in Italy.

Little by little, the Ortega dictatorship has increased the list of imprisoned priests, so far there are more than ten religious who are being part of legal proceedings against them and two have already been convicted.

Given this, Arce demanded that the United Nations “take energetic measures in relation to what is happening in Nicaragua” because he considers that the regime is setting a “disastrous” precedent in the region. In this way we ask that all possible measures be taken within the framework of international law.

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