23 April 2018

IAPA condemns live murder of journalist in Nicaragua

A shot was heard and he fell to the ground. He died on his way to hospital.

MIAMI, Florida (April 23, 2018)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned the murder of Nicaraguan journalist Ángel Gahona, who was killed as he was broadcasting public protests that cost the lives of more than 30 people since the start of the social crisis last week following the government announcement of reform of the Central American country's social security system.

IAPA President Gustavo Mohme, editor of the Peruvian newspaper La República, expressed his concern and offered condolences to the journalist's family and colleagues. He publicly called on the authorities to investigate the matter, which he blamed on the disproportionate repression of demonstrators by the security forces.

Gahona died on Saturday evening as he was making a live broadcast on Facebook covering a public demonstration outside the office of the mayor of Bluefields town. A shot was heard and he fell to the ground. He died on his way to hospital.

Roberto Rock, chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information and editor of the Mexican portal La Silla Rota, in joining the condolences recalled in addition that the IAPA has been denouncing the authoritarianism and restrictions on freedom of expression that the government of Daniel Ortega imposes in each of the organization's half-yearly reports. Last week the IAPA reacted to censorship of television stations 100% Noticias, Canal 12, Canal 23, and Canal 51 of the Nicaragua Episcopal Conference, explaining that "it is nothing more than the demonstration of a government that is sabotaging its own state and democracy."

Rock and Mohme called for a prompt investigation and for those responsible for deaths, including that of Gahona, be subjected to the full force of the law.

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.