Miami (August 14, 2021) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned the dictatorial regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, of Nicaragua, after the untimely and illegal raid of the offices of the Managua newspaper La Prensa and the detention and incommunicado detention of its general manager, Juan Lorenzo Holmann.
The Nicaraguan Police reported today that Holmann is being investigated for alleged "customs fraud and money laundering crimes." Holmann becomes the 33rd political prisoner of the regime that escalated repression last May against opponents, presidential candidates, and independent media and journalists. Holmann is the regional vice president for Nicaragua of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information.
Holman's arrest came after La Prensa stopped publishing its print edition on Friday due to the obstacles imposed by the government to free the newspaper from the National Customs. In addition, yesterday police forces entered the newspaper's offices without a court order and seized accounting information, computers, and servers from the financial area.
The Police still take over the facilities of the only printed newspaper that remained in the country. Holmann was detained until three in the morning of this Saturday, and then he was transferred to the prisons of Judicial Aid, where he remains detained and incommunicado.
The president of the IAPA, Jorge Canahuati, condemned the search and arrest of Holmann and said, "We have already fallen short of words to denounce the Ortega dictatorship, which every day shows how it takes opponents and critics out of the way."
The Committee on Freedom of the Press president, Carlos Jornet, condemned "that they continue to invent crimes against La Prensa to govern with impunity."
"We insist on the organizations and the international community on the need to speak out with energy against the outrages against this newspaper, its directors and journalists," said Canahuati, president of the OPSA Group, from Honduras, and Jornet, director of the newspaper La Voz del Interior, from Argentina.
With its facilities taken and paperless, La Prensa continues to report on its site laprensa.com.ni. Since 2018, two other independent media, 100% Noticias and Confidencial, were illegally intervened and their facilities awarded to the State.
Holmann is the second regional vice president of the IAPA Commission arrested in recent weeks. On July 11, Henry Constantín Ferreiro was detained in Cuba, released 15 days later. Constantín has served as regional vice president of the IAPA for five years.
IAPA is a non-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 the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.