MIAMI, Florida (April 20, 2018)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned the Nicaraguan government of Daniel Ortega for violence unleashed against civil society during popular demonstrations against reforms to the social security system and, at the same time, called for respect for freedom of assembly and of expression, individual and social rights essential for democracy.
IAPA President Gustavo Mohme declared that the repression that the government launched against demonstrators and the censorship it imposed on television channels and the Internet "unmasks the authoritarian nature of a government that in its eleven years has only sought to dismantle the government for its own benefit and that of its family members."
He added that to brutally suppress demonstrations with the old ruse of organizing governmental counter-marches, and censoring the television stations 100% Noticias, Canal 12, Canal 23 and Canal 51 of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua "is nothing more than the demonstration of a government that is sabotaging its own state and democracy."
Mohme publicly called on the government of Nicaragua to re-establish freedom of expression and of assembly as his constitutional mandate establishes.
The independent press has reported that the repression of protests at the reforms of the social welfare system, which already had cost the lives of three people, is the responsibility of members of the Juventud Sandinista (Sandinist Youth), violent mobs under the control of the government.
The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Roberto Rock, said that on the road to dismantling Nicaragua's democracy the family of President Ortega has created an intense strategy of propaganda that includes the handling and ownership of many news media that before were independent.
Rock recalled that at the IAPA meeting in Medellín, Colombia, that ended last Sunday Daniel Ortega's government was mentioned as one of the most disrespectful in terms of freedom of the press and of expression.
In his anti-press freedom intentions the country's vice president, Rosario Murillo seeks to censor social media through decrees that regulate public conversation. The text of the press freedom report: http://www.sipiapa.org/notas/1212163-nicaragua
The IAPA http://www.sipiapa.org 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.