Ten-year prison sentence for dissident is first in “judicial farce” in Nicaragua

Ana Margarita Vijil, lawyer and human rights defender (center, in photo by

), was president of a dissident Sandinismo| Photo: EFE/Jorge Torres

08215359 08215359 The Nicaraguan Justice released this week the first sentence of a series of trials of opponents of dictator Daniel Ortega, which human rights organizations describe as a “farce judicial”.

Ana Margarita Vijil, lawyer and human rights defender, had been tried and convicted last week, and on Monday (7) a sentence of ten years in prison was announced, for the crime of conspiracy to commit an act contrary to “national integrity”.

In a recording, Vijil’s mother, María Josefina Gurdián, stated that her daughter was subjected to “an illegal and illegitimate”. At the end of the trial, the dissident Sandinista asked to make a final statement, “and with great dignity and courage, she declared herself a defender of human rights and affirmed that it is a work that she will continue to do for the rest of her life”, according to the report. of the mother.

“When asked to sign the minutes, he wrote , under his signature, in his own handwriting: political prey”, added Gurdián.

Although the former president of the Sandinista Renovator Movement (MRS), a split from the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) now called the Renovating Democratic Union (Unamos), is the first sentenced to know her sentence, eight other opponents Politicians have already been sentenced by the Nicaraguan Justice since the beginning of last week.

The journalist Miguel Mendoza joined this Tuesday (8) with Yaser Vado, Yader Parajon (whose brother was murdered in a demonstration held in 2018), former guerrilla Dora Maria Tellez, student leader Lesther Alemán, journalist Miguel Mora, who had run for president , María Fernanda Flores, former First Lady and wife of former President Arnoldo Alemán (1997-2002), and Suyen Barahona, from Unamos, all of whom have already been found guilty and will have their sentences announced in the coming days.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) recalled in a statement that 1.540 people have been arrested in Nicaragua since the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega unleashed a process of “systematic repression” in April 2018.

“After the Amnesty Law, which allowed the release of the majority, several were arrested for the second time and currently exist 02 political prisoners in Nicaragua”, highlighted the entity.

The FIDH highlighted that, since May of 2021, 43 human rights defenders and political opponents were arrested in Nicaragua, including seven presidential candidates. “These people are being held in conditions that amount to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, contrary to international human rights law, which the State of Nicaragua is obliged to respect,” he said.

In January, Daniel Ortega took office for his fifth five-year term – the fourth in a row -, after elections considered illegitimate by most of the international community due to arrests of opponents and absence of observers.

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