Miami (November 5, 2021).- The Inter American Press Association urged the government of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua to stop evading the scrutiny of the press before the presidential elections next Sunday and demanded guarantees for the media and journalists can develop their work of electoral coverage.
Faced with the refusal to admit the entry into the country of various international press members, the hemispheric organization warned that the repression in Nicaragua, where seven opposition candidates are imprisoned and prohibited from participating in the elections, represents a threat to journalistic activity.
"The main international organizations have declared these elections are non-credible," said the president of the IAPA, Jorge Canahuati, president of the multimedia group Opsa, from Honduras. He added: "The most recent actions by the Ortega government not only confirm this but also indicate a severe setback in terms of freedom of expression."
The IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information president, Carlos Jornet, editor of La Voz del Interior de Córdoba, Argentina, stated: "We are holding the Nicaraguan government responsible for any incident against journalists during the electoral process."
Canahuati and Jornet indicated that the bleak outlook for press freedom in the hemisphere, denounced at the end of its 77th General Assembly in October, is due in part to the situation in Nicaragua. The country's only printed newspaper, La Prensa, is intervened by the police, three journalists are in prison, and many have to go into exile.
"For months, we have been denouncing these opaque elections in Nicaragua, but the Ortega government never stops surprising us with new methods of repression and harassment against the opposition and independent journalism," Canahuati and Jornet assured.
The Resolution on Nicaragua of the 77th IAPA General Assembly can be seen here. In July, the IAPA carried out a virtual mission to Nicaragua and denounced the use of para-police and paramilitary force groups against opponents and their families.
The conclusions of that mission highlighted that holding the elections required recovering an environment for the exercise of freedom of expression and the press. Accordingly, the government must grant ample facilities to national and foreign media during the electoral campaign, the election day, and subsequent scrutiny.
IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States