Miami (March 13, 2020) .- The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) is outraged at new maneuvers by the Daniel Ortega regime in Nicaragua to continue imposing censorship on independent media whose traditional media assets have already been confiscated and operations closed.
Since last week, the YouTube channels "100 Noticias Nicaragua" and "100% Noticias", belonging to the 100% Noticias television station, whose signal in Nicaragua continues to be closed by the government, have been blocked after being targeted with copyright claims by the executives of a channel belonging to Daniel Ortega's family.
After the confiscation and closure of the 100% Noticias Channel and its programming grid signal since December 21, 2018, and the imprisonment of its director Miguel Mora and deputy director Lucía Pineda, the channel began broadcasting on YouTube and other digital platforms.
IAPA President Christopher Barnes and the President of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Roberto Rock, agreed in expressing that, "our capacity for astonishment is always on trial in regimes like Ortega's which demonstrate great creativity in time to gag independent journalism".
In a special request to Google, the owners of YouTube, whose executives IAPA has contacted to procure that 100% Noticias can continue transmitting, Barnes, director of the Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner and Rock, director of the Mexican news portal La Silla Rota, added that, "it is important that digital platforms implement policies to prevent proliferation of this type of censorship."
The signals of 100 Noticias Nicaragua and 100% Noticias were temporarily removed from YouTube after Channel 4, owned by the children of Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo, filed 44 copyright claims regarding official videos that were broadcast on the channel, between 2013 and 2015.
Mora explained that the images were taken from "different sources of the Government, including Channel 4, because since Ortega was installed in power in 2007, access to independent media has been limited to State activities". He explained that the speeches by President Ortega were aired on a mandatory basis by all channels. "They force us to transmit their content and then claimed copyright," emphasized Mora.
In 2018, Mora, on behalf of his colleagues, received the IAPA Grand Prize for Press Freedom awarded that year to independent journalism in Nicaragua. After being released from prison on June 19, 2019, Mora and Pineda, together with a group of journalists from 100% Noticias, reactivated their digital platform and YouTube.
Barnes and Rock recalled that censorship continues against Confidencial and the television programs Esta Semana and Esta Noche, whose headquarters were also closed and their equipment and assets confiscated in December 2018.
The IAPA's position on press freedom and free expression in the digital environment is reflected in its 2018 Salta Declaration.
The IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 publications from the Western Hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.