Nicaragua: “Banished, but free!” Prominent Figures React

to the news about the political prisoners

The list of the political prisoners includes a number of priests. Photo from archives.

International organizations and prominent figures hail with joy the release of the political prisoners.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – International organizations and prominent Nicaraguans in exile reacted with surprise and joy to the sudden release into exile of 222 political prisoners. The released prisoners were flown to the United States in the early hours of February 9, 2022, with no prior notice.

The Race and Equality Institute posted on their Twitter page that they were celebrating “with emotion and hope the liberation” of the 222 Nicaraguan political prisoners. They added: “We firmly maintain our commitment to continue fighting for the liberation of the rest of those who are unjustly imprisoned.”

Nicaraguan writer Sergio Ramirez also expressed his joy at the release of the political prisoner who were “unjustly tried and sentenced, in jails where they never should have been sent. (…) They’re going into exile, but they’re heading towards freedom,” Ramirez, also in exile, stated.

For her part, Paula Maria Bertol, former Argentine ambassador to the Organization of American States, wrote on Twitter: “It’s proof that these people were being unjustly held prisoner, in violation of their human rights. I hope they can soon return home to their families.”

Writer Gioconda Belli called it “a day of mixed emotions,” regarding the release of the political prisoners. “The liberation offered them meant forcibly leaving their country. They were stripped of their political rights forever,” she noted.

“The Ortega-Murillo regime can’t be magnanimous, of course., They offend and mistreat with the weapons left to them. However, I believe that, as human beings, the prisoners will be with their families and recovering from the psychological and physical wounds of these months,” she wrote on her Twitter account.

Deportation repudiated

The 222 Nicaraguan political prisoners who were released and deported to the United States also lost their civil rights after being ruled “traitors to the homeland.” Faced with this decision by the Ortega Murillo dictatorship, the Urnas Abiertas initiative released a statement condemning the use of “institutionality to try to cover up an irregular act, contrary to the law, that violates individual and political liberties.”

“The processes used to change both the sentences of political prisoners and to reform the Constitution are completely irregular (…) We totally reject the exile and stripping of nationality applied to the political prisoners as unconstitutional, null, illegal, arbitrary and criminal,” they added.

The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh) also condemned the deportation of prisoners of conscience. They accused the Ortega regime of using the judiciary as the main instrument of repression. “Deportation is completely inapplicable in this case, because this is a legal figure of immigration that applies specifically to foreigners,” they said in a statement.

Despite this situation, Cenidh expressed joy because the prisoners of conscience are now free. “The priority objective of those of us who, day by day, continue in the struggle for the lives of political prisoners, was precisely to save them from the clutches of death, and we’ve achieved that. We hope that the place where they have been exiled will immediately provide them with the necessary medical attention,” they added.

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