Home Central americaNicaragua US congressman seeks authorization from Daniel Ortega to visit Bishop Álvarez

US congressman seeks authorization from Daniel Ortega to visit Bishop Álvarez

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US congressman Christopher H. Smith has sent a letter to Daniel Ortega requesting permission to visit Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, who is being held in a maximum security cell in the Jorge Navarro Penitentiary System, known as “La Modelo”.

“I am writing to request your help in securing a meeting for me with His Excellency Rolando Álvarez Lagos, Bishop of Matagalpa at the Jorge Navarro Penitentiary Complex,” the letter dated June 5 reads.

Smith noted that on March 22, 2023, he co-chaired a US Congressional hearing, which focused on the human rights situation in Nicaragua. “The compelling testimony offered by more than one expert witness highlighted the unjust and continued imprisonment and persecution of Bishop Álvarez,” he stressed.

Related news: Three months have passed since the last time Bishop Álvarez was seen

Also, he highlighted that “the previous confinement and harassment of Bishop Álvarez under house arrest was the focus of a previous hearing that I chaired on December 15, 2022 at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.”

Letter from the US congressman sent to Daniel Ortega.

In this sense, the Republican congressman expressed that he is concerned about the health and well-being of the Nicaraguan prelate, who has accumulated more than 300 days in confinement.

“Given the severity of the reported abuses and the credibility of recent testimony, as well as my responsibility for US State Department legislation and oversight of internationally recognized human rights-related matters, it is important that I visit you. », he pointed out.

He also requested permission for Mark Milosch, Director of Republican Personnel for the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, to accompany him during the possible visit to the bishop of Matagalpa.

Ortega keeps Monsignor Álvarez isolated and incommunicado

More than three months have passed since the only and last time that the Daniel Ortega regime publicly showed Monsignor Rolando AlvarezOn that occasion, the dictatorship allowed his two brothers to visit and exhibited him in photographs and videos through its propaganda media. Since then, the condition of the religious is unknown.

Regime keeps Monsignor Rolando Álvarez isolated in the maximum security cell “Infiernillo”.

The prelate has been locked up in the “La Modelo” prison in Tipitapa since February 9, the date on which he refused to be exiled, along with 222 other former political prisoners, to the United States.

It was recently learned that the Ortega dictatorship is holding Monsignor Álvarez in cell 19 of module 3-1 of the maximum security space of the men’s prison in Managua.

National and international human rights organizations have repeatedly demanded “proof of life” from the Ortega administration for the bishop of Matagalpa and have also demanded his prompt release.

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