Riot police officers from the National Police beat and illegally detained journalist Kalua Salazar, station head of Radio La Costenisima. At dawn on Monday, April 19, the newswoman tried to leave her home in Bluefields to go to the media outlet, but the officers forcibly prevented her from doing so.
“The radio vehicle came to pick me up, in the car was the master control operator, the program host and the editor. And when I was leaving, a Police patrol pulled up. They told my colleagues to get out of the vehicle and told me: ‘you are not leaving,’ Salazar denounced in a telephone interview with Confidencial.
She asked the officers why she could not leave her home and exercise her right to work. She began recording the police action, but the officers responded by beating her in front of her family.
“I complained to them, I took out my cell phone and started recording and, as I was recording, one of the riot police grabs me from behind, he did a kind of move to neutralize me; he grabbed me around the neck and shoulders, and he was trying to take my cell phone from me,” the newswoman said.
The officer was unable to take away the journalist’s cell phone because one of the other agents told him to “calm down,” according to Salazar, who added that without the intervention of that officer she does not know “what would have happened to her.”
The Police ended the repressive act against Kalua Salazar by shoving her into her house. Everything took place in front of her young daughters who, from that moment on, had “a panic attack.”
They seized the radio station’s vehicle
The journalist explained that, once she was forced to enter her home, the agents frisked her work companions, as if they were criminals. The vehicle was seized from them and then they let them go.
“The vehicle was taken by the police and my colleagues were frisked from head to toe while against a wall. And then they let them go, but for now I don’t know what will happen to the vehicle,” she stated.
Since the beginning of the year, Salazar’s home has been under siege by the Police. However, the newswoman denounced that this is the first time that she was denied leaving “by blows and shoves.”
“They have to let us do our job. We dedicate ourselves solely and exclusively to informing the people. We are not political activists nor anything of the kind. The truth is that all this is a violation of my rights as a person and as a journalist,” she said.
Since 2019, Kalua Salazar continued, the “sporadic” siege against her began. However, in 2020 it began to become more acute after the criminalization to which she was subjected under the alleged crime of slander to the detriment of three workers from the city hall of El Rama.
“It has intensified to the point that now I cannot even leave my house. I cannot go to work. They are denying me the right to work, my freedom, the freedom of my family and the education of my daughters,” she denounced.
The Mesoamerican Initiative for Women Human Rights Defenders issued an “urgent alert” on Monday in which they denounced that the National Police is “attempting against the life” of Salazar, preventing her from leaving her house and keeping under constant siege her home.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has also denounced the police siege against Kalua Salazar and has demanded that the Nicaraguan State guarantee freedom of expression and of the press in the country.