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Political prisoner Ana Vijil attacked by drunken police chief, family denounces

The Nicaraguan political prisoner has spent 200 days in an isolation cell in the infamous El Chipote jail.

The Nicaraguan political prisoner has spent 200 days in an isolation cell in the infamous El Chipote jail. Pinita Gurdian

Redacción Confidencial

30 de diciembre 2021


The family of political prisoner Ana Margarita Vijil denounced that the prisoner of ​​conscience was assaulted in her jail cell by a drunk high-ranking police officer in the early morning on Sunday, December 19. Today, December 30th, marks 200 days that the opposition leader has been held in the Police compound known as “El Chipote.”

Pinita Gurdian, mother of Ana Margarita, said that the family does not know what type of aggression her daughter suffered nor what the damages were.

“If confirmed, this information we are sharing is extremely serious. We are concerned about the position of the alleged high-ranking official who entered and the state in which he did it,” denounced Gurdian, who is also the grandmother of Tamara Davila, also being held in El Chipote as a prisoner of conscience.

Accompanied by the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH) and Amnesty International, Vijil’s family asked the government of Nicaragua to respond to the following questions: “What happened that morning? What is the state of Ana Margarita’s physical and emotional health? What type of assault did she suffer and what were the damages? Why did an officer enter her cell in the early morning? Who allowed that officer in? Who were the masterminds and actual aggressors of the alleged assault?”

The family asked the authorities to allow Pinita Gurdián and another family member to visit Ana Margarita in the company of the International Red Cross to corroborate the status of her daughter. Likewise, that an investigation be initiated into the events that occurred against Ana Margarita.

Amnesty International: “We are seeing that there is a persistent pattern of acts of torture”

The representative of Amnesty International for the Americas, Erika Guevara Rosas, accompanied Ana Margarita’s family. She lamented that in Nicaragua “acts of torture are taking place against people who are in the custody of the State for political reasons.”

“We are very concerned not only with the testimony of her mother, but also with the evidence that is documented about this incident that has put Ana Margarita’s rights to life and safety at great risk,” she said.

Guevara Rosas reiterated that “It is important to mention that we are talking about acts that are prohibited by international law, that cannot in any way be justified. These acts are considered crimes under international law and in certain circumstances they may be considered crimes against humanity with criminal responsibility not only for those who carry out the act but also for the high command who, by omission or commission, are involved ”.

According to Ana Alvarez, Ana Margarita’s niece, the Interamerican Human Rights Commission (IACHR) has already requested information from the government about the aggression suffered by Vijil, but they have not received a response.

“The State has systematically refused to respond to each of our requests and our questions. Given that systematic and generalized lack of response by the State to all the actions we have taken, we as a family decided to make this public denunciation because we understand that the State has an obligation to respond,” she said.


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Likewise, Alvarez reiterated that as family members they will continue to exhaust all national entities in search of answers. “We hope that thanks to the solidarity of civil society and human rights organizations that this denunciation will be heard and that this can result in being able to verify Ana Margarita’s situation and that a serious, ethical and credible investigation can be conducted.”

200 days in prison

Vijil was arrested on June 13 along with Dora María Tellez, both of whom are members of the Unión Democratica Renovadora (Unamos), previously known as the Movimiento Renovador Sandinista (MRS). That same day, three more members of this organization were also detained: Suyen Barahona, Hugo Torres, and Víctor Hugo Tinoco. Likewise, the day before, Tamara Davila, who is also a member of the Blue & White National Unity coalition (UNAB), was arrested.

Vijil was accused by the Ortega regime of being “the alleged perpetrator of the crime of conspiracy to undermine national integrity, in accordance with articles 410 and 412 of the Penal Code, to the detriment of Nicaraguan society and the State of Nicaragua.”

Since her arrest, the political prisoners Tellez, Davila, Vijil and Barahona remain in total isolation in solitary confinement cells.

According to her relatives, Vijil, who recently turned 44, is not allowed to receive blankets or bedding, such that she suffers from cold in her isolation. In addition, in her cell the lights are kept on day and night and she suffers from constant interrogations.

“Her imprisonment and the torture of solitary confinement in which they have her causes me great pain and anguish (…) The last time I saw her, she was left with great anguish, fearing I might die. I am coming out of a serious condition due to an intestinal obstruction, for which I recently had two surgeries and was intubated,” described Pinita Gurdian.

The new prisoners

Between May and the end of November 2021, the regime added 67 new prisoners of conscience, including seven potential presidential candidates. Prior to these arrests, at least another 100 political prisoners were already being held.

This group of more than 60 prisoners has only been entitled to three family visits, the first in August, the second in October and the last in November. There was hope that before Christmas they would be granted the right to another visit, but this was not the case, and the families fear that they will not even be allowed to see them by New Year’s Eve.

Political prisoners face rapid weight loss, constant questioning, denial of access to their lawyers, reduced portions of food that translate into malnutrition, blocked entry of food by their relatives, and zero communication with the outside.

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


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Redacción Confidencial

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.