The Committee to Protect Journalists yesterday joined five other organizations in a joint statement calling on international policymakers and human rights institutions to condemn human rights violations in Nicaragua and pressure authorities to protect press freedom and freedom of expression in the country.
The statement documents Nicaraguan authorities’ most recent acts of censorship and harassment of the press, including the August 13 police raid of the offices of La Prensa, Nicaragua’s lone remaining daily newspaper, and the detention the next day of the paper’s publisher, Juan Lorenzo Holmann, as part of a criminal investigation into alleged customs fraud and money laundering.
“It is clear that these events constitute harassment of the press and blatantly inhibit journalists from doing their jobs at a moment when their work is crucial,” the groups wrote in their statement. “In these months leading up to scheduled national elections [in November], respect for democracy, human rights and civil liberties is vitally important.”
The organizations urged members of the Organization of American States and United Nations human rights bodies, among other groups, to publicly condemn and respond to press freedom violations in the country. The statement also calls on Nicaraguan authorities to cease their harassment of La Prensa, release journalists and government critics detained on treason charges, and allow journalists to work freely.