27 OAS countries “dismayed” by the death of Hugo Torres

A total of 27 member countries of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States signed a declaration in which they made clear their dismay at the death of the former guerrilla, retired brigadier general and political prisoner on the orders of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, Hugo Torres Jimenezand reiterated their condemnation of the imprisonment by the regime of more than 170 political prisoners.

25 countries previously signed the declaration in which they also demand the release of political prisoners, who are subjected to inhuman prison conditions. During the development of the session on Friday, February 18, the representatives of Venezuela and Uruguay joined the declaration.

“We are deeply shocked by the death of Nicaraguan citizen Hugo Torres (which occurred in Nicaragua on February 12), who was a political prisoner and who had been arrested last June and held in inhuman conditions, like many other people imprisoned for their opinions. policies. The circumstances of his detention and premature death constitute a painful injustice both for him and for his bereaved family, and an affront to the values ​​that our nations defend”, cites the statement, released during the session by the Chilean representative, who along with Canada, coordinate the OAS Working Group in charge of the crisis in Nicaragua.

The declaration was signed by the delegations of Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United States, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and later Venezuela and Uruguay.

“It should be remembered that, through various resolutions adopted since June 2018, this Permanent Council has recognized on several occasions the serious and worsening conditions of human rights in Nicaragua and that it has continuously offered assistance to remedy this situation despite the government snubs. Just last December 8, this Council requested the immediate release of all the political prisoners detained in Nicaragua”, adds the statement.

This Friday’s session was convened at the request of delegations from Canada, Antigua and Barbuda, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador and the United States.

“The prevailing situation in Nicaragua constitutes a challenge to these principles and values. This our Organization and we, its Member States, cannot be complacent without doing anything. None of us can remain silent in the face of the tragedy that is taking place in Nicaragua, where human suffering is intensifying as the political, civil and human rights that all our nations value so much are ignored, eroded or violated,” adds the statement. statement.

We believe that the continued detention of political prisoners constitutes a serious violation of those rights to which all OAS Member States have declared their adherence. United we raise our voices in solidarity with the people of Nicaragua, with the victims of human rights abuses and with the members of their families; and, in doing so, we reiterate our firm conviction that all political prisoners in Nicaragua must be released immediately,” the document underlines.

Bertha Valle: “They have been accused of unfounded and ridiculous charges”

Berta Valle, wife of activist and presidential candidate Félix Maradiaga, who maintains an international campaign to ask for her husband’s release and is also accused by Ortega of “treason against the fatherland”, took the floor during the OAS session to be the voice of the relatives of the political prisoners imprisoned in Chipote.

“My husband has been arbitrarily detained for 255 days. He has been missing and incommunicado for long periods. Together with Victoria Cárdenas, wife of Juan Sebastián Chamorro, another of the detained presidential candidates, we have carried out an international campaign for the release of all political prisoners in Nicaragua. The situation in Nicaragua has worsened since the last OAS Permanent Council was held,” Valle cried.

“The only crime that Victoria and I have committed is asking for the release of our husbands, and for that we have been accused by the regime. Right now, Félix, Juan Sebastián and five other opposition leaders are in the fourth day of an illegal, political trial that violates due process. They have been accused of unfounded and ridiculous charges, in trials that take place in a police station known as El Chipote, and not in a court, and behind closed doors. They have not been able to meet with their defense lawyers. We anticipate that they will be sentenced with sentences of 15 to 25 years against them, using their activities and presentations before the OAS and the United Nations as evidence,” he added.

Bianca Jagger: political prisoners are at “risk of death”

Nicaraguan human rights activist Bianca Jagger also took the floor to “ask and beg” the countries grouped in the OAS to intervene firmly in the human rights situation in Nicaragua and for the release of political prisoners, since They are in “a situation of life and death” due to the inhumane conditions and mistreatment they suffer in the regime’s prisons.

“They are facing a life or death situation. The lives of 177 political prisoners are in the hands of dictator Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo. That is why I have come to ask you, to beg you, to do everything possible so that there are no more deaths. The Ortega-Murillo regime has been very clear in its refusal to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Nicaragua. The regime is convinced that the international community will not respond proportionately to its actions. That is why I am here, to ask them to show them that they are wrong”, stated the renowned international activist.

He also referred to the illegalities and harassment against retired Brigadier General Hugo Torres Jiménez, during his capture and subsequent imprisonment. “His relatives say that before this imprisonment, General Hugo Torres was a healthy man. Many of his classmates say that he was not a person who would bow down in prison. He was a disciplined man and exercised often. Suddenly, Torres started getting sick in jail. His legs swelled up. I don’t know how long he was in that situation, until one day he fainted and that was when they were finally taken out. He never informed Judicial Assistance (of the National Police) about his transfer to a hospital. They took him away in violation of due legal process, hidden,” said Jagger.

IACHR: political prisoners are in “deplorable conditions” and suffer “inhuman treatment”

During this session, Commissioner Edgar Stuardo Ralón Orellana, Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty and for the Prevention and Combat of Torture of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an agency attached to the OAS, who presented an assessment of the agency on the situation in Nicaragua. Ralón Orellana demanded that the regime open an independent investigation into the circumstances of the death of Hugo Torres Jiménez, arguing that the tragedy occurred in “unacceptable conditions.”

The official also referred to the torture and isolation conditions to which the areas of conscience Ana Margarita Vijil, Tamara Dávila, Dora María Téllez, Suyen Barahona and Violeta Granera are being subjected. “There is a serious human rights situation for people who remain deprived of liberty just for being identified as opponents of the Government. They are in deplorable conditions, suffering from inhuman treatment, restrictions on visits, lack of access to water and a healthy diet. These conditions have affected the health situation of those incarcerated, mainly of those who suffer differentiated effects of detention, such as the elderly and women,” emphasized the IACHR rapporteur.

“We want to draw attention to the situation of opposition leaders Ana Margarita Vijil, Tamara Dávila, Dora María Téllez, Suyen Barahona and Violeta Granera, who are victims of reprisals in prison for their political leadership, obtaining severe reprisal measures such as prolonged isolation. and threats due to their gender condition,” she added.

Luis Almagro: “Sandino would be imprisoned in Chipote”

The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, who closed the cycle of interventions after disclosing the statement signed by the representatives of 27 countries grouped in the Permanent Council of the regional organization, lamented that the process of deterioration of civil liberties in the country has deteriorated considerably since the last session on Nicaragua was held.

“It is a regime that has considerably distorted the concepts of justice, peace, human dignity and civil and political liberties. If there is no compassion for those who were a comrade in struggle, work and revolution, one cannot expect democracy and respect for human rights”, expressed Almagro in relation to the mistreatment and subsequent death of the political prisoner and retired general, Hugo Torres Jimenez.

“We reiterate that at the table of this Permanent Council there is no place for a dictatorship. It is necessary to put an end to the illegal trials that the regime is promoting. We are a community of democracies. Next February 21 is commemorated the day of Sandino. It would be a great tribute to his sense of justice and human compassion to free political prisoners. Sandino would be more than grateful. Otherwise, we will have to believe that if General Sandino were alive today, he would be imprisoned in Chipote”, added the secretary general.

This was the first session of the OAS after Secretary General Almagro’s report on his failed efforts to agree with the Ortega regime the arrival in the country of a high-level mission from the regional organization, with which the holding of new elections in Nicaragua with transparency and credible national and international observation would be negotiated.

Almagro’s efforts were an ordinance established by a resolution of the Permanent Council approved on December 8, 2021, in which it was established to insist through diplomatic channels to agree with the Ortega regime on a way out to unblock the political crisis that torments Nicaragua.

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