Los Angeles, February 9, 2023 — In response to news reports that Nicaraguan authorities freed and deported 222 political prisoners to the United States on Thursday, including at least one journalist, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:
“The deportation of political prisoners from Nicaragua, including at least one journalist, brings a sense of relief that they will no longer have to spend years in prison. However, the safety and freedom of these prisoners after their unjust and prolonged detention must continue to be a top priority,” said Carlos Martinez de la Serna, CPJ’s program director, in New York. “Nicaraguan authorities must guarantee the safety of the released prisoners and their families, stop prosecuting and harassing reporters, and guarantee that the media can report without fear of detention or forced exile.”
Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro, publisher of the La Prensa newspaper, was included on the flight out of Nicaragua, La Prensa editor Eduardo Enríquez told CPJ via text message.
After the publication of this article, news reports said that Miguel Mendoza Urbina, the other journalist jailed in Nicaragua at the time of CPJ’s December 1, 2022, prison census, was also released.
[Editors’ note: This article has been updated in its last paragraph to note Mendoza’s release.]