This past Friday, January 25, Nicaragua’s Permanent Human Rights Commission (CPDH) denounced the fact that more than a hundred of the protesters being held prisoner in Nicaragua have been victims of “theft” and “cruel treatment” on the part of their guards.
According to the complaint, at least 131 of those imprisoned as a result of participating in the anti-government protests against President Daniel Ortega were taken out of their cells in recent days; when they returned, their personal hygiene articles and their medications had disappeared.
“They stole belongings such as toothpaste, soap, cigarettes and other personal items,” stated Julio Montenegro, lawyer for the CPDH, during a press conference.
In addition to the theft, those considered “political prisoners” by the humanitarian organizations complained of “cruel treatment”, because upon returning to their cells they found their food items tossed around the floor and the bunks, indicated the CPDH.
“That generated very serious tension, because some complained,” Montenegro added. He underlined the fact that on this occasion there were no reports of physical aggression against the prisoners.
The authorities of the National Penitentiary System have remained silent regarding occurrences within the prison known as La Modelo, the largest and one of the most high-security prisons in Nicaragua.
Nicaragua is experiencing a socio-political crisis that has left 325 confirmed dead and over 500 political prisoners, according to humanitarian organizations. Meanwhile, the government recognizes only 199 dead and 340 prisoners they’ve deemed “terrorists”, “coup plotters” and “common criminals”.
The Inter-American Commission for Human Rights has accused the Ortega government of being responsible for “crimes against humanity”.
The Nicaraguan president has refused to accept any responsibility for the crisis, as well as rejecting accusations of grave abuses committed by the authorities against the anti-government protesters. Ortega complains the regime has been the victim of a “failed attempt to stage a coup d’etat”.
On January 11, the Organization of American States (OAS) initiated procedures to consider applying the Inter-American Democratic Charter to Nicaragua, due to their violation of the Constitutional order.