of “spreading fake news” and “undermining the national integrity”
The journalist was taken from jail and declared guilty by a kangaroo court in the early morning hours of June 9, with no right to defense. He has now been transferred to the Jorge Navarro National Penitentiary.
HAVANA TIMES – Courts in the service of the Ortega-Murillo regime have declared journalist Victor Ticay guilty of the bogus crimes of “spreading fake news” and undermining the national integrity.” Attorney Braulio Abarca, with the Nicaragua Nunca + [“Never Again Nicaragua”] Human Rights Collective confirmed the news.
The journalist was taken to the Managua court complex in the early hours of June 9, where the guilty verdict was read to him. Later, at approximately 10 am, he was transferred to the Jorge Navarro National Penitentiary, commonly known as La Modelo.
The unsurprising guilty verdict was part of “an arbitrary process with no legal guarantees,” Abarca stated. One indication of this was the fact that he was sentenced “in the wee hours of the morning, and with no right to defense,” he added.
In addition, “not even the minimum due process guarantees were respected. They didn’t even respect the process established in the Criminal Processing Code and in Nicaragua’s Penal Code,” the human rights attorney emphasized.
Abarca said the trial against Ticay, in addition to violating his fundamental rights, is “a clear message to all those who work in independent media” in Nicaragua, since it “generates a hostile environment against all those who work with the press.”
Ticay was working as a correspondent for Channel 10 news in the municipality of Nandaime, Granada. He was arrested on April 6, 2023, after he filmed and gave coverage to the Catholic tradition known as La Reseña, during the Holy Week festivities. The activity was being held despite orders from Vice President Rosario Murillo ordering all Catholic processions banned that week. Since April 6, Ticay had been held in the District III police station in Managua.
On May 19, following 40 days of detention without being allowed to see his family, the regime’s prosecution finally charged him. Reports indicate that the journalist was denied the right to a private lawyer and was assigned a public defender.
The Nicaragua Nunca + Human Rights Collective condemned “these grave violations to Victor Ticay’s human rights. At the same time, we also condemn the human rights violations of over 150 journalists who now find themselves in situations of forced displacement.”
The platform Alerta Libertad de Prensa Nicaragua [“Press Freedom Alert Nicaragua”] also denounced the guilty verdict that Ticay received under law 1055, the “Sovereignty Law”. “We repudiate the guilty verdict and demand an immediate end to the persecution and judicial attacks against independent journalism in the country,” the group stressed.