New York, June 11, 2019—The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release today of Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda Ubau, the director and news director of independent digital and cable news channel 100% Noticias; the two journalists had been imprisoned since a police raid on their Managua newsroom on December 21, 2018.
The two journalists faced charges of “inciting violence and hate” and “promoting terrorism,” which were dropped under a controversial amnesty law passed last week that freed political prisoners but also protected those who committed violent acts against protesters, according to multiple news reports. During the December raid, authorities seized equipment and ordered the channel off the air.
“While we are delighted that Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda are finally able to return home without these absurd charges hanging over them, they should never have been arrested or spent a day, much less nearly six months, unjustly imprisoned,” said CPJ Central and South America Program Coordinator Natalie Southwick. “If the government of Daniel Ortega truly wants to show it has moved away from repressive censorship tactics, authorities must immediately return all confiscated equipment to 100% Noticias and allow the channel to resume broadcasting without interference.”
In February, CPJ and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) issued a joint statement calling on the Nicaraguan authorities to release Mora and Pineda and drop all charges against them. Since their December arrest, Mora and Pineda had been held in near-isolation, with limited access to family members, medical services, or legal support, as documented in the joint statement.