Attacks and Censorship of Journalists in Nicaragua

One of the many attacks by Ortega supporters against journalists since April 18th. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the OAS today condemned the persistent attacks that journalists and media in Nicaragua are going through, which also includes being subject to political pressure and indirect censorship by the government, reported dpa news.

“The Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the IACHR condemns the persistence of constant threats against the safety of journalists, surveillance and political pressure on the media in Nicaragua,” said the organization in a press statement.

The Office of the Special Rapporteur also made an “urgent appeal” to the State of Nicaragua “to stop these actions and guarantee the free and independent functioning of the media in the country,” which since April has experienced its worst political crisis in several decades.

According to the IACHR, one of the cases that has been verified by its mission in Nicaragua is that of Channel 10, whose reporters and management are “under governmental pressure” since the political crisis began.

Such pressures covered all the media that received “pressures from the telecommunications regulatory body to remove programs perceived as anti-government from the air” and “restrict the dissemination of information about events” that were shaking the country, the organization reported.

“The IACHR and its Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression have also observed with grave concern the stigmatization and the attacks against journalists and cameramen covering the crisis” in Nicaragua, adds the text.

“The government’s repeated attempts to control the media through pressures and regulatory mechanisms that lack independence represent a serious threat to freedom of expression in Nicaragua,” said Special Rapporteur Edison Lanza.

Today during a forum held in Managua, dozens of journalists denounced new “attacks on press freedom and expression” by the Ortega government, which they said is trying to silence the country’s private media.

Invited by the “Violeta Barrios” Foundation, the journalists who analyzed the situation of freedom of expression in Nicaragua also denounced the alleged pretensions of the Government to monopolize the television media in the country, seeking “political and financial pressure” to control TV channels 10 and 12, the only independent ones left in open television.