#WHRDAlert NICARAGUA / Alarming rise in attacks against women journalists

Yamlek Mojica, Ivette Munguía, Mabel Calero, Reneé Lucía Ramos, Leticia Gaitán, Daliana Ocaña and Cinthya Tórrez

The right to inform

Attacks experienced
Physical aggression, restriction of freedom of movement and the right to information, censorship, death threats, and robbery of equipment.

THE FACTS – Since the blaze at the Indio Maíz Reserve and the beginning of the Nicaraguan government’s repressive campaign last April 17th, there has been an alarming rise in state and para-state violence against citizens in general and journalists specifically.

On June 19th, Leticia Gaitán, of Canal 100% Noticias, and Daliana Ocaña, of Canal 12, were held at gunpoint, threatened with death, and stripped of their work equipment by para-police groups while they were covering a police operation in Masaya. One month beforehand, Gaitán had been attacked while she covered a protest along with nine other journalists.

On May 28th, the National Police attacked Ivette Munguía of La Prensa, and Reneé Lucía Ramos of the EFE Agency, while they covered an attack by riot police and paramilitary groups against students at the National University of Engineering (UNI). Ivette was hit by a rubber bullet on her left hand, and Renée Lucia was kicked by one of the riot cops. On April 21st the week before, she was kicked twice by a woman police agent who took the cell phone with which she was recording the police repression against young people protesting outside the Polytechnic University (UPOLI).

On May 16th, Mabel Calero of La Prensa was attacked along with her workmates by para-police agents who tried to rob them of their equipment and destroy the vehicle that served as their transportation as they covered demonstrations near the spot where the National Dialogue was taking place.

On April 13th, Cinthya Tórrez, also of La Prensa, was pushed and shoved by riot police while she covered the protest of a group of university students demanding more effective government action for the protection of the Indio Maiz Biological Reserve.

Yamlek Mojica of Confidencial was threatened by Representative Edwin Castro as she documented and videotaped the occasion when students of the Central American University (UCA) were asking him questions. This was the initiation of a campaign of attacks that escalated from harassment in social networks to persecution by police and paramilitary agents in unlicensed vehicles and vans parked outside her home.

We of IM-Defensoras demand that the Nicaraguan government comply with the country’s Constitution. Its Article 66 establishes that the Nicaraguan people have the right to reliable information, which implies the freedom to seek, receive and disseminate information and ideas.

We repudiate and condemn these attacks and reiterate our demand that the Nicaraguan government comply with the recommendations of the IACHR and other international human rights bodies, and we hold it responsible for anything that may happen to one or more of these journalists.

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