Nicaragua: Political Prisoners Start Hunger Strike, 37 with Covid-19 Symptoms

Photo: EFE | Confidencial

The prisoners will make a gradual hunger strike that will begin in galleries five, six and seven of the La Modelo prison.

By Yader Luna (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – The prison situation of the 97 political prisoners of the Daniel Ortega regime is “very serious”. The risks to life and health are increased with at least 37 people reporting symptoms which could correspond to Covid-19, such as: fever, pain in the body, in the eyes and throat, loss of taste, appetite and diarrhea in some cases.

In addition, two more people have chronic diseases “that place them in a vulnerable situation in the face of the pandemic.”

“The dictatorial regime tries to hide, disguise and deny the Covid-19 pandemic spread within prisons. The medical care in the country’s prisons has been late, superficial and negligent,” said the Group of Reflection of Political Prisoners of Nicaragua (GREX), the Association of April, Nicaraguan Victims in the World and the Blue and White National Unity (UNAB) of the department of Masaya.

Hunger strike announced

In their statement the organizations announce that “in the face of so much insensitivity of the presidential couple” the prisoners have decided to start a gradual hunger strike that will begin in galleries five, six and seven, which later “will be extended to all prisons in Nicaragua, demanding the regime grant them their freedom.”

“In addition to that protest, we will increase our actions of national and international denunciation, so that no one forgets about the political prisoners,” said the organizations.

They also hold the presidential couple and the directors of the National Penitentiary Systems and the departments responsible, “for any risk or consequence suffered by our relatives and brothers, and warn that all their abuses will not be forgotten.”

The situation of prisoners

Family members report that on Monday, April 27, the International Red Cross (ICRC) entered the La Modelo Penitentiary System, for medical examination of political prisoners and common prisoners.

After that visit, as of April 29, some alarming symptoms were reported that could be related to the Covid-19, which they report having been reviewed during the ICRC visit but that there was no further follow-up by the Prison doctors. Therefore, they have not been supplied with the necessary medicines.

The complaints of political prisoners reported with respiratory symptoms (cough, fever, body pain, difficulty and tiredness to breathe) were made by lawyers and relatives.