Nicaragua: Political Prisoners’ Relatives Plead for Humane Treatment

Freedom for the political prisoners.

They also ask for an immediate end to the solitary confinement imposed on Ana Margarita Vijil and Dora Maria Tellez, and to free Tamara Davila from her closed cell.

By Republica 18

HAVANA TIMES – Relatives of the political prisoners who’ve been abducted since last May demand more humane treatment for their brothers and sisters, parents and husbands.

Last week, for the first time, the Ortega regime allowed a brief family visit to each of the opposition leaders, former presidential candidates and journalists being held at the “Evaristo Vasquez” Police Complex, better known as the “New Chipote” jail.

During the visit, they were able to confirm the clear weight loss, isolation, and lack of attention their family members are suffering. As a result, they’re now asking the regime to grant all of these prisoners more humanitarian treatment.

Relatives demand regular visits, normal meals and an end to isolation

The foremost petition of the political prisoners’ families is that the regime allow: “frequent and periodic visits, without infringing on their privacy.”

This is because during the only visit they’ve been allowed to make, they were taped and photographed at all times, from their entrance into the police and jail complex up to the moment of meeting their family members.

Similarly, due to the high level of malnutrition observed in the political prisoners, families demand the right to “provide them with food,” for at least “one meal a day”.

They also demand that the regime immediately end the isolation that Ana Margarita Vijil and Dora Maria Tellez are still being subjected to, and that Tamara Davila be freed from the sealed cell she’s being kept in.

“We fear that the women could suffer mistreatment like that previously suffered by the female political prisoners who were arrested during the 2018 protests,” the families declared.

Political prisoners in the cold and deprived of sunlight

Family members further demand that the political prisoners receive blankets and clothing that can serve as covering. During their visits, the relatives noted the cold temperature in the room.

“The situation they’re in is really lamentable. What frightens and upsets us is that it’s one general recipe for all,” stated Jilma Herdocia, wife of opposition politician Jose Pallais.

Given these conditions, the relatives ask for “guarantees that the packages are delivered,” in other words that they really reach the hands of their family members. The prisoners are all much thinner than normal, and pale, since they haven’t been outside since being abducted.

“We were all surprised by the amount of weight they’ve lost, because it’s not natural (…) “This situation is truly worrying and anguishing,” Herdocia stated.

They demand that the prisoners be allowed “at least 20 minutes of sun a day,” so as to stimulate their bodies’ pigmentation and their Vitamin D absorption, both crucial for withstanding COVID-19.

Trials should be open to the public

Last among their demands is: “public notice of all the hearings, and permission for family members and the media to be present.”

“We know that the investigations are now before the judges. It’s worth noting that the crimes are absolutely non-existent, and the law under which they’re accusing them is absolutely unconstitutional, null and void,” declared Jilma Herdocia.

Herdocia, Jose Pallais’ wife, added that “they’re classing the procedures as ‘complex procedures’ in order to lengthen the investigation process,” and in that way stretch out the time they’re in jail.

“They’re being judged for giving opinions,” she added. “For thinking, for exercising their Constitutional right.”

“It’s not even a matter of a political situation, it’s a demand for humane treatment, because the condition we found them in is lamentable, and this is in full view of all, including their captors.”

Family members share the torture

Family members of the political prisoners noted that the tortures their partners, parents, uncles, aunts and siblings are being subjected to extend to those far beyond the jail.

What’s really happening is that we’re all suffering due to the arrogance of a group of people,” Peltier Barahona stated. “It’s an Olympian demonstration of arrogance.”

The “evidence is ridiculous,” stressed Barahona, whose sister Suyen Barahona is one of the prisoners. “In the end, we’re suffering here as a collective, inside [jail] as well as outside. We’re all suffering torture.”

Despite everything, the political prisoners’ relatives assure that they’ll continue with their collective demand for freedom.

“We won’t keep our mouths shut, we’ll continue with denunciations at an international level regarding what’s happening in our country,” concluded businesswoman Victoria Cardenas, wife of the political prisoner and former presidential candidate Juan Sebastian Chamorro.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.

They also ask for an immediate end to the solitary confinement imposed on Ana Margarita Vijil and Dora Maria Tellez, and to free Tamara Davila from her closed cell.