Human rights groups accused President Daniel Ortega of increasing authoritarianism during the wave of arrests before the November polls.
The Nicaraguan authorities have detained at least five opposition leaders because the total suppression by the government of President Daniel Ortega before the November elections has aroused condemnation from the EU’s top diplomat.
In a statement on Tuesday, the police stated that they detained three farm worker leaders on Monday — Medado Merena, Pedro Mena and Freddie Navas — who were planning to run for president. -Charge them with murder and kidnapping of police and civilians, armed robbery and extortion, among other crimes.
The police also arrested student leaders Lesther Aleman and Max Jerez and charged them with armed robbery, kidnapping, rape and other crimes.
The police said that all crimes were in one wave Anti-government protests in 2018According to a human rights organization, the organization was severely retaliated by the Nicaraguan security forces, resulting in the deaths of approximately 230 people.
The detained leaders include more than 20 presidential candidates, opposition leaders and Business person They were arrested in the past month due to the ruthless suppression by the Ortega government.
The long-term president stated that his government is prosecuting the criminals who planned the coup against him to justify the arrest.
In the November 7 election, Ortega used the “treason” law to detain almost all potential competitors. “It is ridiculous to set them free. We are doing everything we are doing according to books,” he said last month.
But civil society and human rights organizations accused the 75-year-old man who ruled Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990, regained power in 2007, and won two consecutive re-election campaigns since then—intensified authoritarianism.
Aleman was one of those arrested on Monday. He was the leader of the 2018 protests. He returned to Nicaragua after exile. His relatively new Free Citizens Party has not yet elected a presidential candidate, but Aleman said last week that he planned to run.
“Ortega’s goal is not only to eliminate election competition by seizing the sixth presidential candidate, but also to prevent civil resistance. He arrested more than 20 political, civic, self-convened, student, and peasant leaders.” Nicaraguan reporter Carlos Chamorro said on Twitter.
The Chamorro who fled to neighboring Costa Rica in mid-June are the brothers of the detained opposition leader Christian Chamorro.
On Tuesday, the EU’s top diplomat, Jose Puborel, said that “stricter” measures may be needed against Ortega’s Sandinista government.
“The situation has reached such an extreme that member states will have to study more specific actions, not just’enough, Mr. Ortega,'” Borrell said at a meeting of the European Parliament.
United States and Organization of American States (OAS) Condemning the wave of arrests, Calling on the Nicaraguan government to stop threatening opposition figures and to ensure that free elections can be held.
Argentina and Mexico also Withdrew their envoy to Nicaragua The crackdown ended last month.