More than 100 detained in Nicaragua’s anti-government protests | Daniel Ortega News

Managua, Nicaragua – Police have detained more than 100 people in the Nicaraguan capital as protests erupted on Saturday to demand President Daniel Ortega release political prisoners jailed in last year’s violent crackdown.

Opposition groups called for what they hoped would be the first march since demonstrations were banned after anti-government protests sparked a national crisis nearly a year ago.

Heavily armed police, which refused to authorise the march, and paramilitary troops on motorcycles descended on several opposition gathering in Managua on Saturday afternoon.

They wielded batons and wrestled some demonstrators into pickups as hundreds of protestors chanted slogans at a local mall.

The show of force came just one day after President Daniel Ortega released 50 political prisoners amid mounting international pressure and renewed calls to restart stalled peace talks with opposition groups.

The refusal to allow freedom of expression “contradicts what we need to continue the dialogue”, said Justina Orozco, an activist at the protest.

The National Police said it was obliged to protect public order and had taken 107 people into custody.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights condemned what it said was police “repression” against protestors and journalists and called for a full account of the detained and wounded.

Officials with Ortega’s government could not be immediately reached.

Saturday’s protests marked the latest chapter in Nicaragua’s national crisis that began last April, when demonstrations against a since-dropped pension reform sparked a widespread anti-government movement targeting Ortega, a former Sandinista rebel.

Nicaraguan security forces responded with a violent clampdown with more than 325 people having been killed, according to commission.

Opposition groups say 770 people they deem political prisoners were jailed, including on terrorism-related charges, according to human rights attorney Julio Montenegro, who is representing nearly 80 of them

In addition, more than 50,000 are estimated to have fled to neighboring Costa Rica and elsewhere.

Some protestors said the ongoing clampdown nearly a year after the crisis began spurred them to risk taking to the streets.

Others impacted by the nation’s struggles. Even those who did not participate said residents needed to pressure the government.

“I support it 100 percent,” said Yadira Cordoba, whose 15-year-old son was shot and killed in a march last year and another has fled to Costa RIca.

The National Blue and White Unity movement called the march to be held on one of Managua’s busiest thoroughfares, called Carretera Masaya, an area dotted with restaurants and hotels.

At one petrol station, police with riot shields and batons swept through and sent journalists running.

At the upscale Metrocentro Mall, several hundred young protestors in blue stood in a parking lot and plaza, many with facemasks, chanting slogans and waving flags.

Police surrounded the mall and at one point swept inside the gates with batons leaving some protestors wounded, according to social media posts. One woman said she was beaten by paramilitary members on motorcycles in the parking lot.

The exact number of detained on Saturday was still emerging. The National Blue and White Unity movement listed 60 people who had been arrested.

Authorities have also shut down some media outlets along with a few NGOs. The European Parliament recently called for sanctions on Nicaragua because of human rights abuses.

After opposition groups demanded the release of political prisoners to continue talks, Ortega’s government released 112 when the current round of talks began on February 27.

Ahead of the 2021 presidential elections, Ortega has said he would be willing to overhaul state institutions. On Friday, he released 50 more into house arrest.

Nicaragua’s Interior Department said the prisoners face charges such as crimes against public peace and security.

Source

more recommended stories

  • Sri Lanka bombings: All the latest updates | Sri Lanka News

    A series of coordinated explosions has rocked.

  • Sri Lanka Easter bombings: Mass casualties in churches and hotels | News

    A series of bombings has hit.

  • Will Egyptian President Sisi’s mandate be extended? | Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

    Millions of Egyptians are heading to.

  • Gaza fishermen: Israel extending fishing zone is token gesture | News

    Gaza Strip – Under cover of.

  • US man arrested for threatening Democratic politicians | USA News

    Police arrested a Florida man on.

  • US Democrat Nadler subpoenas full, unredacted Mueller report | USA News

    United States House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler.

  • Mali’s PM Maiga, government resign over Ogossagou massacre | News

    Mali‘s prime minister and his government.

  • Libya death toll rises to 205 as Tripoli fighting continues: WHO | News

    At least 205 people have been.

  • Magnitude 6.1 earthquake hits east Taiwan, no major damage | News

    A magnitude 6.1 earthquake has struck.

  • Mueller report to be released on Thursday: 5 things to look for | News

    US Attorney General William Barr has.

  • Ethiopia: Former jail to become museum | Ethiopia News

    The administration of Ethiopia‘s southeastern Somali.

  • Voting underway in Indonesia’s biggest election | News

    Indonesians have started voting to choose.

  • Why is Notre Dame important to France? | France News

    Notre Dame Cathedral is one of.

  • Jailed Reuters journalists honoured with Pulitzer Prize | News

    Two jailed reporters for the Reuters.

  • Are foreign powers worsening the conflict in Libya? | Middle East

    Libya’s rival forces are intensifying their.

  • India’s poll body accused of bias as election complaints pile up | India News

    New Delhi, India – In 2011,.

  • Sudan military vows to reform intelligence service amid protests | News

    Sudan‘s ruling military council has announced.

  • Russia in Africa: Inside a military training centre in CAR | Central African Republic

    Russia is back in the Central.

  • Think you can survive in Bangkok’s art world?

    Curate an art exhibition and survive.

  • Sudan’s military removes al-Bashir: All the latest updates | News

    Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has been.

  • British MPs say WikiLeaks’ Assange should face justice in Sweden | News

    More than 70 British members of.

  • ‘Not pawns’: US mayors decry Trump’s sanctuary city threat | USA News

    Democratic US mayors said on Friday.

  • Algerians take to the streets as anger mounts at interim leader | Algeria News

    Algerian police tried but failed to.

  • ‘Guard your revolution’: Sudan protests continue despite curfew | News

    Organisers of the months-long demonstrations that.

  • US charges WikiLeaks’ Assange with ‘computer hacking conspiracy’ | News

    Washington, DC – US prosecutors have charged.

  • India elections: Voting under way for first phase | India News

    Indians are voting in the first.

  • US, China ‘agree to establish trade deal enforcement offices’ | News

    US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

  • New Zealand passes gun law reform in wake of Christchurch attack | New Zealand News

    Auckland, New Zealand – New Zealand’s.

  • Israel elections: Netanyahu and main rival in tight race | News

    Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was.

  • Hope blossoms in spring as Afghans keep close eye on peace talks | Asia

    Asasabad, Kunar Province, Afghanistan – The.

  • Hong Kong ‘Umbrella Movement’ protest leaders found guilty | News

    Hong Kong – A Hong Kong.

  • Three US troops, one contractor killed in Afghanistan explosion | Afghanistan News

    Three US service members and a.