MIAMI, Florida (May 29, 2018)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned the continual repression of freedom of expression and of assembly in Nicaragua noted in recent days.
Protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega that began on April 18 have left some 76 people dead and destabilized the country. Disturbances yesterday (Monday, May 28) in Managua between students and anti-riot police left one person dead, more than 40 injured, the building of a pro-government radio station on fire and several journalists attacked.
IAPA President Gustavo Mohme, editor of the Peruvian newspaper La República, voiced the organization's call for "the immediate end to the violence and repression, and fully guarantee the Nicaraguans' right to freedom of expression and of assembly."
Among the violent acts news agency EFE reported that on Monday several policemen attacked with kicks and rubber bullets its female camera oprator Renée Lucía Ramos and photographer Jorge Torres. Also attacked were journalists of the newspaper La Prensa, and radio station Tu Nueva Radio Ya was hit with Molotov cocktails and mortars that set the front of its building on fire. Police said that no one was reported injured in the attack.
Roberto Rock, chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information and editor of the Mexican news portal La Silla Rota, declared, "We condemn violence against any media outlet and/or journalist. To attack the press is to attack freedom of expression and restrict the right of Nicaraguans to be informed."
The privately-owned radio station Corporación reported that its headquarters in Managua were shot at on May 25. No one was injured.
Other serious incidents against the press during the protests: On April 21 murdered was journalist Angel Gahona while he was covering the protests in the Caribbean municipality of Bluefield; the websites of La Prensa and magazine Confidencial were hacked; Radio Darío in León city was set on fire, while several television stations – 100% Noticias, Canal 12, Canal 23 and Canal 51 of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua – reported censorship and attacks upon their reporters.
The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida.