The Nicaraguan Police blocked some 5,000 processions during Holy Week, according to a report by Nicaraguan Organization Pro-Transparency and Anti-Corruption Observatory, which closely follows attacks on the Church.
The regime, opponents have claimed, has also stepped up its persecution of people sympathetic to the Church, and has detained several people, including a journalist who was covering a Holy Week activity in the city of Granada, south of Managua.
The arrest of Victor Ticay, a correspondent for national media outlet Canal 10 and founder of the website La Portada, was confirmed to Voice of America by a family member who asked not to be identified.
The family fears that he was arrested for having broadcast on the media outlet’s Facebook page a religious activity that the police tried to stop.
On April 6, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for Central America and the Caribbean called on the Nicaraguan regime to allow the celebration of religious processions, concerning the restrictions Daniel Ortega imposed on the Catholic Church.
OHCHR said that these restrictions “violate religious freedom,” which is embodied in the Political Constitution of Nicaragua, and called on the regime “to allow the celebration of religious processions: Its generalized prohibition violates religious freedom, which requires that all people can exercise it individually and collectively, both in private and in the public sphere,” the OHCHR said via Twitter.
Several arrested, including a journalist
In parallel, the Nicaraguan Police has resumed arrests of opposition activists and also arrested a journalist.
On April 5, the Nicaraguan National Police arrested Jasson Salazar of the April 19 University Movement (MU19A), according to his organization. In addition to Salazar, the Nicaraguan opposition reported the arrest of activists Anielka García and Ángel Boniche.
Héctor Mairena, director of the opposition coalition National Blue and White Unity, said that dozens of political activists are also being harassed by the security forces to prevent any protest as part of the socio-political crisis anniversary, which will be 5 years old in April 18.
“All this is within the context of the fifth anniversary of the April rebellion, as they fear that the population will demonstrate and therefore unleash this wave of terror,” Mairena said.