Update on Nicaraguan Political Prisoner Ana Margarita Vigil

Josefina “Pinita” Gurdian during a Facebook live Sunday about her daughter, Ana Margarita Vijil, imprisoned for over 200 days. The previous time the family was allowed to see her was in mid-November.

Her mother demands an end to the isolation her daughter and three other prisoners suffer, & the release of all of Ortega’s political prisoners

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – Three days after making a public complaint about the possible assault by a drunken high-ranking police officer against political prisoner Ana Margarita Vijil, her mother Josefina “Pinita” Gurdian, was finally able to see her at the prison and verify that the attack did not occur. The political prisoner did tell her mother that she was interrogated and filmed by the jail authorities the same day as the complaint was made.

“She was interrogated and filmed without any explanation, only showing her photos from the press conference. This was shocking to her, as the most recent information she had about my health was from 45 days ago, when I was in very serious condition, intubated and on a ventilator. Given this, she believes that the false information that was given to us was possibly aimed at generating anguish and uncertainty in the family,” said Gurdian on a Facebook live statement.

Gurdian explained that on the afternoon of this Sunday, January 2, she was finally able to meet with her daughter, who is still in isolation. The mother noted that Ana Margarita has lost even more weight and is interrogated daily.

“These last few days have been an ordeal for our family. The possibility that this information (about the alleged aggression) was true caused great anguish both to us and to all the good people in our country,” said Gurdian, who suffers from cancer and recently underwent two surgeries.

Vijil’s family took advantage of the live transmission to thank national and international human rights organizations, social and political organizations, and journalists for the support they gave to the complaint and demand for confirmation about the alleged attack of December 19th.

“We thank God that the information –which we do not know with what intentions was transmitted to us– was not true, and we hope that nothing like what was described will ever occur to any of the persons deprived of liberty in any of the prisons and police jail throughout the country,” the mother stated.

Gurdián did not elaborate on what was asked of her daughter during the interrogation that was recorded. It is also not known if they will publish it in the official media, as they have already circulated some photos of relatives of political prisoners who came to see them this weekend.

Demanding information is a right

Guardian pointed out that the family decided to make the complaint public due to the lack of response from the State. The first action they took was to go privately to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to request information from the State; however, there was no response. Therefore, the most viable option was to make it public.

“The only viable option was to make a public complaint asking for answers, considering that: We live in a context of incarceration and criminalization that has been characterized by arbitrariness (…)  Making public statements and denouncements is a right that, in a context like Nicaragua’s, we must continue to safeguard. Neither family members, nor national and international organizations that defend human rights, nor journalists, nor citizens, can remain silent,” she said.

Vijil reached 200 days in prison on December 30th. Her family has seen her only four times during this time, and the last visit prior to the one that occurred this Sunday was on November 15. They had not heard from her for more than 45 days.

All the political prisoners must be freed

The family members also took the opportunity to demand an end to the isolation four political prisoners suffer: Ana Margarita Vijil, Tamara Davila, Suyen Barahona and Dora Maria Tellez. Likewise, they request that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) make an exhaustive assessment of the physical and emotional state of all the political prisoners.

They also asked national and international organizations to remain vigilant as to the situation of Daniel Ortega’s 170 political prisoners, as they are arbitrarily detained and continue to suffer different types of torture.

“Ana Margarita asked us to thank you all. She told us that she feels the solidarity of so many people, of all of you. She says your love, your affection, your prayers, your solidarity breaks through the bars of her cell, giving her energy and optimism. She asks us to put our hands together tightly and kiss them, and at that moment we will be with her, with dignity and unity,” concluded Gurdian.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.



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