Guatemala City, August 17, 2023 – The Committee to Protect Journalists on Thursday condemned the eight-year prison sentence issued to Nicaraguan journalist Victor Ticay and called for his immediate release from prison.
“Nicaraguan authorities’ sentencing of journalist Victor Ticay to eight years in prison is another example of the government’s complete lack of tolerance for the basic work of the press,” said Cristina Zahar, CPJ’s Latin America and the Caribbean program coordinator, in São Paulo. “Ticay should have never been arrested or spent a day in prison. This harsh sentence makes it clearer than ever that the government of President Daniel Ortega has no respect for freedom of expression of any kind.”
On April 6, police arrested Ticay for posting a video of an Easter celebration in the city of Nandaime to his Facebook page, after the Nicaraguan government banned Roman Catholic street processions marking Holy Week.
The Criminal District Court of Managua, the capital, convicted the journalist of conspiracy to undermine national integrity and disseminate false news on June 9. At a closed-door hearing on Tuesday, August 15, authorities announced that he was sentenced to five years for the national integrity charge, and three years for the false news charge.
CPJ was unable to immediately determine whether Ticay intended to appeal the sentence.