Nicaragua moves 3 opponents from prison to house arrest | KSEE24


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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Nicaraguan authorities have ordered the house arrest of three opposition figures suffering from health problems, a week after the death of another after months of incarceration.

Former Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Francisco Aguirre Sacasa, 77, former Deputy Foreign Minister José Pallais, 68, and former Ambassador to the United States Arturo Cruz Sequeira, 68, were sentenced to home confinement, the government announced in a statement on Friday.

All three have been charged with conspiring to destabilize the country, a charge applied to dozens of opposition figures arrested by President Daniel Ortega ahead of last year’s national elections.

Cruz was one of seven potential presidential candidates jailed. Ortega was then easily re-elected to a fourth consecutive term in November.

The government said the change was made in consideration of their health and for humanitarian reasons.

A number of opposition figures were convicted and sentenced in speedy trials held behind closed doors this month.

Hugo Torres, a former Sandinista guerrilla leader who once led a raid that helped free then-rebellious Ortega from prison, died a week ago while awaiting trial. He was 73 years old.

The government has been internationally condemned for Torres’ death. On Friday, the Organization of American States called for the immediate release of all political prisoners.

Several other opposition figures over the age of 65 are still imprisoned.

Ortega maintained that those arrested had conspired to try to overthrow his government. Massive street protests erupted in April 2018 which Ortega said were backed by foreign interests. His government closed down a number of non-governmental organizations and tried to suppress all sources of foreign funding.


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