MIAMI, Florida (June 7, 2019).- An Inter American Press Association (IAPA) international delegation will visit Nicaragua next week to advocate for the release of journalists imprisoned there and to express the organization's solidarity in the face of serious violations of freedom of expression and of the press that Nicaraguans have been suffering.
The mission, which will be headed by IAPA President María Elvira Domínguez, will take place in the Central American country from June 10 to 12, with the objective of calling for the release of journalists Lucía Pineda and Miguel Mora of 100% Noticias, jailed since December 21, and of Marlon Gerónimo Powell Sánchez of the radio program "El dedo en la llaga (The finger on the wound)," imprisoned on March 7. In addition to this, the IAPA will also call for the murder of journalist Ángel Gahona on April 21, 2018 to be solved.
The IAPA has not yet received authorization to visit the jailed journalists as requested for to Foreign Minister Denis Moncada Colindres in a letter sent on May 9. The organization is confident that President Daniel Ortega's government will allow this humanitarian visit among colleagues, as a sign of goodwill towards the political agreements that are being sought in the country.
The IAPA representatives also come with the objective of calling for the return of the equipment and properties seized from the news media, insisting to the government the suspension of criminal charges against media and journalists, as well as urging the release of all those imprisoned before June 18, a deadline agreed upon in the context of a national dialogue.
During its three-day stay the mission will meet with representatives of various sectors of civil and institutional society, news media and related organizations.In addition to Domínguez, editor of the Cali, Colombia, newspaper El País, taking part in the mission are Christopher Barnes, IAPA first vice president and editor-in-chief of The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica; Roberto Rock, chairman of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information and editor of Mexico City Mexico, online news site La Silla Rota; José Roberto Dutriz, Executive Committee chairman and president and director of Grupo La Prensa Gráfica, San Salvador, El Salvador; Michael Greenspon, Global Head, Licensing & Print Innovation of The New York Times, New York; Gabriela Vivanco, chair of the Membership Committee, La Hora, Quito, Ecuador; María Eugenia Mohme, chair of the Finance and Audit Committee, member of the Board of Directors of La República, Lima, Peru, and Ricardo Trotti, Executive Director of the IAPA.
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.