‘Intimidating’ Police Deployment in Nicaragua Ahead of Protest

Photo of police deployment in Managua, Nicaragua on February 25, 2020 – laprensa.com.ni

HAVANA TIMES – The government of Nicaragua on Tuesday deployed hundreds of police officers across the capital Managua and in other parts of the country in anticipation of an opposition protest calling for the release of 61 political prisoners, reported dpa news.

The Ortega-Murillo regime has prohibitted any and all types of public demonstrations, protest and marches since September 2018 in an attempt to squelch all dissent to its continued rule.

The UN human rights commission for Central America (OACNUDH) referred to the deployment on Tuesday as “intimidating,” adding that Nicaraguan authorities should “fulfil their obligations to respect, protect and guarantee political rights, peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.”

The news comes a day after political commentators and opposition politicians denounced the fact that police had surrounded the homes of about 30 members of the opposition.

Prostesters plan to march from Managua’s Metropolitan Cathedral to the Central American University (UCA) to demand the release of people they say have been incarcerated for their opposition to President Daniel Ortega, who has been in power for 13 years.

The protest coincides with the 30th anniversary of Nicaragua’s 1990 general elections, in which opposition presidential candidate Violeta Chamorro surprisingly defeated Ortega. He returned to the presidency in 2007.

The Central American country has been in turmoil since April 2018, when protests erupted against a social security reform. The protests subsequently widened to demand Ortega’s resignation.

The anti-government demonstrations sparked a wave of repression during which 325 people were killed and some 2,000 others were injured, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

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