Nicaragua: amnesty for political prisoners and law enforcement

Nicaragua: amnesty for political prisoners and law enforcement

The Parliament of Nicaragua, dominated by MPs in favor of President Daniel Ortega, passed an amnesty law on Saturday for both political prisoners and law enforcement agencies.

"The amnesty law is approved," announced the president of the National Assembly after the vote. The text was approved by 70 deputies of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) and rejected by 15 opposition MPs.

The law is in favor of "all those who took part in the events that took place from April 18, 2018", when protests broke out against Daniel Ortega and his wife and vice president Rosario Murillo, "including those who are currently privately of freedom".

According to the law, opponents imprisoned for their participation in demonstrations must be released "immediately" after the publication of the law in the official gazette.

Amnestied opponents must, however, "refrain" from committing the actions that motivated their incarceration, that is to say, to demonstrate their opposition again.

Generally speaking, all those who have been investigated or who can be investigated, including members of the police force or paramilitary groups who shot at anti-government protesters, are amnestied.

"The path to peace and reconciliation can only be pardoned, and it saddens us to have to amnesty confessed murderers of police and torturers," but "the homeland is above all mean-spirited," said the deputy. Edwin Castro, president of the FSLN parliamentary group who introduced the bill.

For its part, the opposition coalition Union Nationale Bleu et Blanc (UNAB, which brings together more than 70 opposition organizations) denounced an amnesty law that "aims to cover the crimes that (the government) committed with its institutions, partisan and paramilitary structures ".

The demonstrations, initially directed against a social security reform that was later abandoned, promptly called for the departure of Daniel Ortega, who has been in power since 2007, and early elections. They have been severely repressed and the violence has left at least 325 dead and 2,000 wounded, for their overwhelming majority among opponents, according to humanitarian organizations.

According to opposition groups, between 600 and 800 opponents were thrown into prison while more than 62,000 Nicaraguans went into exile.

08/06/2019 23:41:01 –
Managua (AFP) –
© 2019 AFP

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