At least 120 journalists Nicaraguans they have requested refuge in different countries, mainly in Costa Rica, since April 2018, when demonstrations broke out against the government headed by the Sandinista Daniel Ortegaaccording to a report released this Tuesday by a journalistic union.
“Since 2018, at least 120 journalists have been refugees and asylum seekers in other countries,” said the Nicaraguan Independent Journalists and Communicators (PCIN) movement in an annual report released on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day. .
According to that union, the first wave of journalists who left Nicaragua occurred in 2018 in the framework of the anti-government demonstrations that were forcibly neutralized by the authorities, who described them as an attempted coup, and which left at least 355 dead. , according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
The second wave of exiled journalists occurred after 63 of them were summoned by the Public Ministry for the case it opened against the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation for the alleged crimes of abusive management and ideological falsehood, both in real competition with money laundering. money, goods and assets.
“Between June and December 2021, at least 54 independent Nicaraguan journalists, considering that their physical safety and personal freedom were at risk, left Nicaragua. Of this total, 38 are men and 16 women”, specified the PCIN.
THEY DENOUNCE “REPRESSIVE ESCALATION” AGAINST JOURNALISM
For that journalistic union, “the repressive escalation of the Ortega regime against independent journalism in Nicaragua has reached extreme levels, which has led to a second wave of journalists who have been forced to seek refuge, mainly in Costa Rica” .
For the PCIN, independent journalism is one of the sectors targeted by the “Ortega Murillo regime (presidential couple) since April 2018, when the sociopolitical crisis began in the country.”
He highlighted the case of journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro, one of the voices most critical of the Ortega government and winner of the Ortega y Gasset Journalism Awards, who had to leave Nicaragua twice in the last four years to safeguard his freedom.
Chamorro was forced to leave Nicaragua after the offices of Confidencial, the media outlet he directs, “were raided for the second time and after learning of an accusation against him.”
“Part of his team of journalists (from Confidencial) also made the same decision,” he added.
“IMMIGRATION RESTRICTION” FOR COMMUNICATORS
Likewise, the PCIN registered 10 cases of journalists who tried to leave Nicaragua through the regular route, “but when they arrived at immigration control they were informed that they had immigration restrictions and their passports were withdrawn.”
In short, that union concluded that “the exercise of press freedom in Nicaragua continued to fracture in 2021 due to the repressive escalation of the Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo regime.”
“Media outlets raided and confiscated by the Police, journalists turned into political prisoners or forced into exile, are some of the facts that show the serious violations of their rights,” he said.
The PCIN noted that Nicaragua ranked 121st last year in terms of freedom of the press, falling four positions in relation to 2020, according to the ranking prepared by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which placed the country on the red list, “it is I mean, in a difficult situation for freedom of the press.”
Nicaragua has been going through a political and social crisis since April 2018, which has been accentuated after the controversial general elections on November 7, in which President Ortega was re-elected for a fifth term, fourth consecutive and second together with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president, with his main contenders in prison.
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