Overnight arrests and hearings are “arbitrary and abnormal”

Attorney Yonarqui Martínez said that the new repressive pattern will affect the daily lives of Nicaraguans accused by the Ortega dictatorship


7 de mayo 2023


Attorney Yonarqui Martínez said that the night raids and detentions, as well as the preliminary hearings held on May 3, have “no legal basis” and violate the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, specifically Articles 217 and 241.

Martinez monitored the people who were arrested and accused last Wednesday night when Daniel Ortega’s regime captured and raided the homes of at least 57 people.

“The police did not have a warrant for any of the raids. There are some caveats in the law that provide for emergency searches that can be validated before the court afterwards, clarifying the reasons the homes were searched,” Martínez told Confidencial Radio.

The Raids Occurred Outside the Law 

Article 217 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which deals with raids establishes that “when a search must be carried out in occupied premises, rooms, place of business, or office, the break-in and search shall be carried out with a court order, which must be requested and decreed for cause, and in writing”.

Likewise, it states that “the diligence of search must occur between the hours of six in the morning and six in the afternoon.”

On the other hand, article 241 of the same law establishes that “a search may be carried out without prior judicial order when: those who live in a house state that a crime is being committed there, or when help is requested due to a fire, flood or a similar reason that threatens the life of the inhabitants or property.

Also, when it is reported that strangers have been seen in or entering a dwelling in the case of an immediate pursuit of a criminal, and to rescue persons at risk of being held hostage.

However, Martinez said Wednesday’s raids could not be classified within those possibilities, because, “there was no emergency, nor was there anyone who had committed such an audacious crime.”

This process will affect the daily lives of the accused

Martinez noted that this “is a process that began with arbitrariness” and in which “the Constitution or the laws were not respected”. She characterizes the conduct of the Nicaraguan authorities as “irregular”.

“These are not legal procedures. The legal methods were omitted. These are irregular practices that do not have any legal basis,” she added.

The people who were arrested and have communicated with her, informed her that when it comes to signing in at the police station, there is total disorder. The police authorities do not even have official registers for signing in, and resort to using school notebooks. 

Martinez pointed out that these measures will affect the accused persons’ jobs, as well as their ability to travel from one department to another because they have to report their movements to the authorities, and they must present themselves to the authorities every day at their assigned time, with the threat of being detained if they don’t appear.

“It had been planned”

Similarly, she indicated that the detention, the prompt exposition at the preliminary hearings, the reading of the accusations and the establishment of precautionary measures makes it clear that everything “had been planned.”

“Everyone went to different courts in their different departments, the same circumstances, details, and accusations were already arranged. It was something planned many days before,” she said on her radio interview.

Martinez also mentioned that most of those arrested and accused “are waiting for the initial hearing” and that it is a procedure they will have to submit to.

“They were told they will be notified as to when it will take place. If they do not come to sign in daily when they are scheduled, they would be in breach of the measure that was imposed on them [at the preliminary hearing] and would be considered disobedient or in contempt,” she added.

She also stressed that this is a new repressive pattern that the Ortega regime is using against anyone who has been an opponent or who has criticized the government at any time.

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times


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Redacción Confidencial

Confidencial es un diario digital nicaragüense, de formato multimedia, fundado por Carlos F. Chamorro en junio de 1996. Inició como un semanario impreso y hoy es un medio de referencia regional con información, análisis, entrevistas, perfiles, reportajes e investigaciones sobre Nicaragua, informando desde el exilio por la persecución política de la dictadura de Daniel Ortega y Rosario Murillo.


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