Nicaraguan Political Prisoner Yubrank Suazo Given 10 Years

Yubrank Suazo dancing. Photo: Carlos Herrera / Confidencial

After over two months of solitary confinement, relatives of political prisoner Yubrank Suazo were able to see briefly him.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – Daniel Ortega’s justice system sentenced political prisoner Yubrank Suazo on July 27 to 10 years in prison, and a fine of US $1560 for the alleged crimes of “conspiracy to undermine” national security and “spreading fake news,” confirmed his defense lawyer, Mynor Curtis.

Suazo was found guilty by judge, Ulisa Yahoska Tapia Silva, on July 15, in a political trial in which the prosecution presented two witnesses, both police officers from the El Chipote interrogation jail.

In the documentary “evidence” they showed an open information extraction report on social networks, explained attorney Curtis. Among the data found on the internet, the prosecution included retweets and three videos that Suazo shared on his social networks, one of them an interview in the Article 66 platform with the priest Harving Padilla, during the days he was under police siege in the San Juan Bautista Church in Masaya.

Yubrank Suazo’s family visit was moved forward

The National Penitentiary System, known as La Modelo, moved up Suazo’s family visit, scheduled for July 27th, since it clashed with the reading of his sentence. Wilfredo Suazo, father of the opposition activist, confirmed that his mother and sister were able to see the member of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, on Tuesday, July 26, after over two months incommunicado since his abduction, on May 18, in Masaya.

His father was not able to enter in this first visit because they only accept two people. He did have the opportunity to chat for ten minutes with his son during the trial hearing. Suazo described that his son is doing well, that he sent a message of strength to the family, to stay healthy, and to pray for him.

He described the meeting as “very emotional, warm,” with Yubrank focused on learning more about his relatives and friends. His father added that they saw him a little bit thinner, but considers that it was “understandable,” as part of the conditions of a prisoner. “Affliction itself makes one lose weight,” he said. He pointed out that in the prison they received his medications and give them to him.

Suazo remains in a maximum-security cell. He is visited daily by a doctor from the penitentiary system who checks his blood pressure and gives him a pill. The food, according to what the political prisoner described to his lawyer in the trial hearing, is worse than that he received in El Chipote.

Yubrank was secretly moved on June 30 from El Chipote to the La Modelo prison confirmed the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH).

Yubrank Suazo on the day he was released from prison on June 11, 2019.

Second time imprisoned

Suazo is the most recent political prisoner of the Ortega regime, following a wave of arrests carried out in the context of the 2021 general elections. He is also the first prisoner of conscience of a score of political prisoners incarcerated in El Chipote to have been transferred to the penitentiary system and put in the punishing cell known as “El Infiernillo” (Little Hell).

In 2018, Yubrank was imprisoned for the first time and accused of allegedly committing acts of terrorism, attempted murder, threats with weapons and obstruction of public services. In June 2019 he was released along with other political prisoners under a controversial Amnesty Law elaborated by the Ortega administration.

There are currently more than 180 political prisoners in different prisons in the country, of these, 28 are in El Chipote, where several female inmates are in complete solitary confinement.  The prisoners are subjected to near starvation due to the scarce portions of food they are provided, have no right to regular visits and are not entitled to exercise activities.

This group of prisoners —former presidential candidates, social leaders, students, civic leaders, journalists, and lawyers—, are part of 61 persons who were captured in 2021 and convicted in February and March 2022 with sentences that go from seven to thirteen years in prison by a group of judges loyal to Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.

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