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SIGNIS stands alongside its associate SIGNIS Costa Rica in condemning the arrest of Nicaraguan journalist Victor Ticay, for broadcasting a procession during Holy Week.
SIGNIS Costa Rica statement’s reads:
Police repression continues in Nicaragua and the press continues to be targeted by the Sandinista regime which does not tolerate free expression, depriving the population of the right to information and, as if that were not enough, last Holy Week Nicaraguans were also restricted in their right to freely express their Christian faith.
A traditionally Catholic nation was forbidden to carry out processions or any act of faith outside the temples; however, there was no lack of those who, in disobedience to the tyrant, took to the streets to manifest their Holy Week traditions. Such is the case of the community of Nandaime, in Granada, which, on Holy Wednesday, carried out the activity called "La Reseña", which symbolizes the path that Jesus walked to the Calvary.
Local journalist Víctor Ticay broadcast this activity on his Facebook news page "La Portada" and, without any reason, the next day he was arrested and taken to "El Chipote" prison, where several Catholics, including priests, are also being held. Ticay's family continues in the uncertainty of not knowing what has happened to the 31 year-old journalist, of peasant origin, but they do not lose faith that he will soon be released; at the same time the union of Journalists and Independent Communicators of Nicaragua (PCIN) also condemned the detention, calling it "arbitrary and illegal", demanding the "immediate release" of the journalist.
Ticay was not the only one arrested during Holy Week. According to the Catholic news agency ACI Prensa, "at least 15 Nicaraguans, mostly opponents and faithful Catholics, were detained by the police in Nicaragua during Holy Week. One of those affected was Catholic priest Donaciano Alarcón, who was expelled from the country on Easter Monday. The authorities captured him and abandoned him to his fate on the border with Honduras."
In addition, since 2018, 185 journalists have been exiled from Nicaragua, according to data extracted from the report "Press Freedom in Nicaragua without respite: Ortega does not stop attacking", prepared by Voces del Sur and the Foundation for Freedom of Expression and Democracy, and disseminated by the citizen journalism magazine "Literal".
As Catholic communicators that we are, united in SIGNIS Costa Rica, we repudiate the repeated outrages suffered by the Nicaraguan press and the Christian community, and we advocate for a call to sanity so that the fundamental rights of the population are respected.
We also raise our prayers to the Lord to protect the Nicaraguan people and defend so many brave men and women who, despite the tyranny, raise their voices to inform, denounce, and bring encouragement and words of hope to the population.