Arrested Opponents Are 'criminals,' Says Nicaragua's Ortega
Managua, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th Jun, 2021 ) :Nicaragua's leader Daniel Ortega said that 19 opposition figures arrested just five months before a presidential election are not politicians but "criminals" who want to "overthrow the government." In raids that began on June 2, security and paramilitary forces have arrested five opposition presidential challengers as well as journalists, businessmen and a banker.
Cristiana Chamorro -- daughter of former president Violeta Barrios de Chamorro and a favorite to face Ortega in November's poll -- was among those held.
"We are not dealing with pre-candidates, but criminals who have attacked the country," Ortega said in an official televised ceremony, while accusing the imprisoned of being "agents of the Yankee empire" who "conspire against Nicaragua to overthrow the government.
""That is what we are pursuing, that is what is being investigated and that is what will be punished in due course."Those held face charges of "inciting foreign interference" under a new law initiated by Ortega's government and approved by the legislature in December purported to defend Nicaragua's sovereignty. The law has been widely criticized as a means of freezing out challengers and silencing opponents.