Nicaragua: Civic Alliance and Government to Reconcile List of Political Prisoners

Former Minister of Education and diplomat Carlos Tunnerman and economist Juan Sebastian Chamorro spoke to the press in representation of the Civic Alliance negotiating team. Photo: EFE / Confidencial


Agreement mentions the release of all political prisoners recognized by the IACHR, which registers 647 cases in addition to the 162 under house arrest.

Negotiation table agrees to review the different lists of political prisoners before proceeding with their release: relatives register more than 800


By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – The negotiation table maintained by the Government of Daniel Ortega and the Civic Alliance to overcome the crisis that broke out almost a year ago in Nicaragua agreed to reconcile the various lists of “political prisoners” before proceeding to their final release.

“The follow-up mechanism of the prisoner release process will begin by reconciling and updating the lists of the Government, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the (opposition) Civic Alliance,” the parties said in a joint statement.

The IACHR list registers 647 detainees, whom it identifies as “political prisoners,” said at a press conference the chief negotiator of the Civic Alliance, Carlos Tunnermann, who in turn handles a total of 809, including 162 that have been released but under house arrest since February 27, when the negotiation table began.

So far, the Government of Ortega recognizes 340 prisoners and calls them “terrorists,” “coup mongers” and “common criminals.”

Waiting for the Red Cross

Tunnermann also explained that they are waiting for the International Red Cross to respond to the invitation to follow-up the process of releasing the detainees in the context of the events that took place on April 18.

While the liberation process is underway, the parties also agreed to request that inmates be placed in a normal regime [instead of in punishment cells], that the rules established by the United Nations be observed for the treatment of prisoners and that they be allowed visits in special situations and in emergencies.

The Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners, made up of relatives of the detainees, has demanded the annulment of the judicial processes and they will not support “any solution that leads to impunity.”

The relatives of “political prisoners” have also demanded to know the release schedule, and that the process complies with international human rights standards.

Human rights organizations have described the agreed upon maximum 90-day period for the release as unacceptable, under the argument that the physical and psychological torture of the victims and their families is prolonged, consequently they have demanded the immediate and unconditional release, and the annulment of all trials.

The constitutional expert and member of the Civi Alliance, Azahalea Solis, told reporters that the International Red Cross is a humanitarian rights organization that has experience in this type of situation, and she expects that it will help to elaborate a “limited timetable” for the release of the detainees.

“The first group of people should be getting out in the coming days under legal mechanisms to clear their name,” she said.

OAS joins in

The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) agreed to participate as witness and companion in the negotiation table.

Former Tupamaro guerrilla and ex-Minister of Defense of Uruguay, Luis Angel Rosadilla, who had been participating as an observer at the table, is now a witness and international companion in the negotiation, on behalf of the OAS General Secretariat, the parties informed in a joint statement.

Rosadilla joins the Apostolic Nuncio of Nicaragua, Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, as the two witnesses and international companions of the process, Tunnermann said.

Tunnermann explained that the witnesses and companions can make proposals to the negotiating table, among other functions. He also announced that an advisory team of the OAS General Secretariat will arrive in Nicaragua this weekend to accompany Rosadilla on his new mission.