Nicaragua: ex-Diplomat Edgard Parrales to get 8-Year Sentence

Political prisoner Edgard Parrales

The Prosecutor’s Office requested eight years in prison for the former diplomat. Sentencing will take place on Thursday, May 5.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – The justice system of the Ortega regime declared the former diplomat and prisoner of conscience, Edgard Parrales, guilty in a hearing held at the infamous El Chipote jail. The Police moved Parrales from his home —where he remains under house arrest— to the prison, put him in a cell, forced him to wear a prison uniform and tied his hands using plastic shackles, reported the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH).

The Prosecutor’s Office, which takes orders from the Ortega regime, requested eight years in prison for the former diplomat and the sentence will be read on May 5th.

Parrales, 79, has been under house arrest since February 25, after three months of confinement in El Chipote, which aggravated his pre-existing health problems. The former representative of Nicaragua to the Organization of American States (OAS) of the Sandinista Government in the 1980s was convicted of the catch-all crimes of “conspiring to undermine national integrity” and of “spreading fake news.”

On Monday, November 22, 2021, Parrales was kidnapped by civilians and moved to El Chipote, as part of the latest repressive wave of the Ortega regime against political and civic leaders who question his illegitimacy in power. His case joins 52 other prisoners of conscience captured during 2021, and mostly sentenced during the first quarter of 2022 for “undermining national integrity” and “spreading fake news.”

In all there are currently over 180 political prisoners.

Some thirty opposition, civic, peasant and student leaders are serving their sentences in El Chipote under torture and solitary confinement, after judicial proceedings plagued with irregularities.

High Health Risk

Since his abduction, the family of the ex-diplomat expressed fear for the worsening of his health, since Parrales requires a specialized colonoscopy because he has chronic digestive problems. His large intestine was removed ten years ago; he has diverticulitis and a hernia.

The Ortega regime announced the change from prison to house arrest arguing humanitarian reasons, but did not provide a report on the health of the prisoner.

On April 4, CENIDH warned that “house arrest is not a guarantee of health and life for lawyer Edgard Parrales,” since the judge did not authorize the entry of his doctors to provide him adequate treatment and carry out the examinations that “will safeguard his life.”

“Edgard Parrales is in danger. We demand the Ortega Murillo regime to release him immediately, before harm becomes irreparable; if that is not done and if specialized medical attention is not allowed, it will be responsible for whatever happens to him,” the human rights organization stated.

After the death of retired brigadier general, Hugo Torrez, 73, as a political prisoner of the regime, relatives and human rights organizations have demanded the urgent release of political prisoners, subjected to torture, solitary confinement, hunger and cold. They added that as long as they remain in prison, their rights must be respected. At the same time, they have demanded a change in the prison regime, especially for those over 60 years of age, due to the health risk involved in prison.

On February 19, the regime moved to house arrest the political prisoners Arturo Cruz, 68 years old; Francisco Aguirre Sacasa, 77; and Jose Pallais Arana, 68. All of them convicted for “conspiracy to undermine national integrity.” Shortly thereafter, Parrales and another former diplomat and political prisoner, Mauricio Díaz Davila, 71, were sent to house arrest.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times



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