Since 2022 the IACHR cautioned that persecution of the Catholic Church continues to worsen in a context of closure of civic and democratic spaces
HAVANA TIMES – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) urged Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega to cease attacks on religious freedom, persecution of the Catholic Church, and to release all persons arbitrarily deprived of their liberty.
In a press release, the IACHR observed with concern the arbitrary detention of 8 priests, including Monsignor Rolando Alvarez, who was reportedly in deplorable conditions of detention, incommunicado, and with consequences to his health, as evidenced on his relatives’ visit on March 25.
They also referred to the arrest carried out by the National Police against priest Osman Jose Amador, a member of the Diocese of Esteli and former director of the organization Caritas Esteli.
“So far, the reasons for the arrest, the legal situation, or the whereabouts of the priest have not been reported,” they say. The arrest was registered on September 8, 2023.
They also highlighted the deprivation of liberty of priests Eugenio Rodríguez Benavides and Leonardo Guevara Gutiérrez, who are under investigation for their work in Cáritas Estelí.
The organization noted that since 2022 it has been warning that persecution against the Catholic Church continues to worsen in a context of closure of civic and democratic spaces.
“There are specific incidents of arbitrary detention, imprisonment and expulsion from the country of priests and nuns without due process, as well as the expropriation of their property.”
The IACHR further noted that in May, the State ordered the freezing of the bank accounts of at least three of the nine dioceses of the Catholic Church for fabricated charges of money laundering and “treason.”