Miami (April 1, 2022) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) rejected as "absurd" the nine-year prison sentence against Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro, general manager of the daily La Prensa and regional vice chairman of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information for Nicaragua.
Yesterday the Nicaraguan justice system sentenced Holmann Chamorro to nine years in prison for alleged money laundering after a three-day trial held behind closed doors. Holmann Chamorro has been imprisoned since August 14, 2021, one day after the regime occupied and closed the newspaper's headquarters in Managua.
Jorge Canahuati, IAPA president, and Carlos Jornet, chairman of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, agreed that "this is one more of the absurd sentences of the Ortega-Murillo regime; which it shamelessly provokes the international community and violates all the principles of due process."
Canahuati, executive president of Grupo Opsa, Honduras, and Jornet, journalistic director of La Voz del Interior, Argentina, expressed their solidarity with the families of Holmann Chamorro and all political prisoners in Nicaragua.
On the other hand, they applauded the decision of the United Nations Human Rights Council to initiate a process of investigation of human rights violations and abuses in the country.
The IAPA invited relatives of political prisoners to participate in its next semi-annual meeting held on April 19-21. It will review the press freedom situation in all the countries of the Americas.
Before the conviction of Holmann Chamorro, the Ortega justice system had convicted, in equally irregular proceedings, journalists Miguel Mora and Miguel Mendoza, who are serving prison sentences of 13 and nine years, respectively. In addition, Cristiana Chamorro and Pedro Joaquín Chamorro, members of the board of directors of La Prensa, were sentenced to eight and nine years in prison.
The Chapultepec Index, IAPA's barometer, places Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba as the countries with a total lack of press freedom in the Americas.
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.