Family Decries Abuse of Nicaraguan Political Prisoner

Pedro Gutierrez has been kept handcuffed in a maximum security cell

Pedro Gutierrez in 2018.

The Family was finally allowed to see him following 40 days of no information.

By La Prensa

HAVANA TIMES – Political prisoner Pedro Gutierrez is being kept handcuffed in a maximum-security cell in the Jorge Navarro Penitentiary in Tipitapa, commonly known as La Modelo, his family publicly denounced on March 31. Gutierrez’ relatives decried the Ortega authorities’ use of cruel and unusual punishment after they were finally allowed to see him, following 40 days with no word.

Gutierrez, who wears a prosthesis on his right leg, was rearrested on February 12th for going out on the Managua streets to demand the liberation of Monsignor Rolando Alvarez.

His relatives expressed their concern for the condition in which they found Gutierrez after 40 days incommunicado in prison. They consider it inhumane to keep him handcuffed, when he’s already in a maximum security cell.

“We managed to see him through a glass window [on March 29] and speak to him via telephone. He’s in the maximum-security wing – section 300, cell 4. He remarked that he’s kept handcuffed most of the time and asked us to speak with the prison warden. However, when we left the visitation area, they told us that [the warden] wasn’t there. That worries us, because we’re allowed to visit only once a month,” Gutierrez’ relatives told La Prensa.

5-year sentence for protesting

Gutierrez was sent to trial in an arbitrary process his family weren’t informed about. They indicated that he was sentenced to five years in prison for the catch-all crimes of “conspiring to undermine the national integrity and propagation of fake news to the detriment of the Nicaraguan government and society.”

Gutierrez publicly called for the release of Rolando Alvarez last February 10th. The Catholic bishop was sentenced to 26 years and four months in prison, immediately after refusing to accept the dictatorship’s offer of release and banish him to the United States along with 222 other political prisoners.

“Good energy, strength, and faith always. Freedom for Monsignor Alvarez! Even if the dictatorship has given him 26 years in jail, we consider Rolando Alvarez a priest of the people. Long live a free Nicaragua! Freedom for Monsignor Alvarez and the political prisoners that remain, shouted Gutierrez during a live transmission on social media.

Gutierrez was initially imprisoned in July 2018 for protesting against the regime. On that occasion, he received bogus charges for burglary and kidnapping.

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