USA / NICARAGUA – The following is a statement by the OAS secretary-general on the situation of political prisoners in Nicaragua.
“I recently met with Nicaraguan journalist and rights activist Berta Valle, and human rights lawyer Jared Genser. We talked about the abuse and suffering experienced by political prisoners in Nicaragua, including the current condition of Félix Maradiaga, husband of Berta Valle.
Political prisoners have recently received sentences of 8 to 13 years in prison, all arbitrary and unjust, imposed on them for exercising their right to protest and, in the case of several, for exercising their right to participate in politics, that is, to elect and be elected. They are not allowed to receive visits with the frequency established by international standards on the matter. In the case of Maradiaga, he has received only one visit in the last 55 days.
Political prisoners do not have enough access to sunlight. They have no access to any material for reading or writing. They do not receive correspondence. They do not receive adequate medical care, sometimes none. And they do not receive enough to eat. As a result, they have all experienced weight loss that puts their health at risk.
In the specific case of Félix Maradiaga, his wife has evidence of mistreatment received, which has contributed to the deterioration of his physical and mental condition.
The Nicaraguan regime must dismantle this system of repression and torture. These violations of human rights merit the intervention of international justice to carry out a competent investigation, determine responsibilities and administer reparations.
“I call on the international community to increase diplomatic pressure on the Managua regime and multiply the shows of solidarity with the political prisoners and their families.”