In Nicaragua, police arrested five prominent opponents of President Daniel Ortego over the weekend. These are the leader of the left-wing opposition party Onamus, Soyen Barahona Kwan, former general and vice president Hugo Torres and prominent party members Dora Maria Telles and Anna Margarita Vigil. The police said in a statement that the opponents were “placed under arrest”.
With the latest arrests, 12 opposition leaders have been arrested in Nicaragua since June 2, four of whom are running for president in November. Critical journalists have also been questioned by authorities in recent weeks.
According to Ortega’s supporters, they are merely implementing the law, which prohibits receiving funding from abroad or publishing information that the government believes to be incorrect. The police said in statements that the detainees seek to “undermine the country’s independence and sovereignty.” In addition, they may incite “foreign interference in internal affairs by requesting military intervention and arranging funding from abroad.”
Autocratic President Ortega, 75, and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, have been in power since 2007. In 2018, the president launched a crackdown on ongoing demonstrations, killing more than 300 people. At least 100,000 Nicaraguans have since fled. On November 7, Ortega will run for a fourth term as president.
The United States responded forcefully to the arrests earlier this month. The country last week called on the rest of the world to treat Ortega as a “dictator” from now on. “The arbitrary arrest of presidential candidate Felix Maradiaga should remove any remaining doubts about Ortega’s credibility as a dictator. After the arrest of the third Nicaraguan opposition leader arrested within 10 days, the international community has no choice but to treat him,” said Julia Chung, the top US diplomat for Latin America. In this way “.
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