Nicaraguan journalism experienced a “fierce attack” in 2021, says NGO

Archive photograph of members of the police as they stand at the entrance of a property owned by Editorial La Prensa in Managua (Nicaragua). EFE / Jorge Torres

Managua, Dec 29 (EFE) .- Nicaraguan journalism experienced a “fierce attack” in 2021, when “illegal arrests”, trials, physical attacks and discrediting campaigns against press professionals were recorded, the Collective of Human Rights Nicaragua Never Again, a non-governmental organization.
“2021 was a year in which journalism experienced a fierce attack, we identified seven types of repression that undermine the physical and psychological integrity of journalism and nine types of repression that criminalize and prosecute journalism,” said the group in a report .
The document indicated that independent journalists suffered, above all, “physical attacks, which have also extended to their families, hate speech directed by public officials, and discrediting or discrediting campaigns.”
The journalists also suffered “criminalization and prosecution, property damage, violations of free movement, movement and residence, obstacles to journalism, tax and customs persecution, forced displacement,” among other actions, according to the Collective.
Added to the foregoing were “threats of investigation, application of the Cybercrime Law, intensive, repetitive and intimidating interrogations, generally carried out by the Public Ministry, arbitrary deprivation of liberty and fabrication of incriminating judicial files.”
In 2021, the number of journalists facing trials rose to six, according to the study.
The NGO argued that the “arbitrary application of the Foreign Agents Law” caused the closure of the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, whose director, journalist Cristiana Chamorro, was detained after announcing her interest in running for the Presidency with President Daniel Ortega , who was reelected in November in elections highly criticized by a part of the international community.
Other journalists arrested were Miguel Mora, also a presidential candidate; Miguel Mendoza, Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Barrios, the student Lesther Alemán, and the manager of La Prensa, Juan Lorenzo Holmann, whose facilities were confiscated by the National Police.
In the case against Cristiana Chamorro, 57 of the 158 people interviewed were journalists, the report noted.
As a result, more than 70 journalists and media personnel experienced “forced displacement,” the Collective indicated.
Since 2018, Nicaragua has experienced a socio-political crisis that, in that year alone, left at least 355 dead, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), while, since then, the number of exiles has exceeded 200,000 people, according to data from the Nicaraguan organization. in the World (NEEM).

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