On Tuesday, November 23, the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy reported that opposition leader Nidia Barbosa has been admitted to a Masaya hospital where she remains with problems of hypertension and heart disease, as well as joint and musculoskeletal problems. Nidia Barbosa, 66 years old, was arrested on November 6th.
According to the Civic Alliance, which Barbosa belonges to, she was taken to the hospital last Saturday after her pretrial hearing. She’s been “accused under Nicaragua’s Special Cybercrimes Law, by false witnesses and without a defense lawyer present,” the Civic Alliance informed.
The Special Cybercrimes Law was promoted and passed by the ruling Sandinista party in 2020 and has been in force since December 30th of that year. It establishes sentences of one to ten years in jail for citizens accused of cybercrimes that threaten “State security”.
The law, composed of 48 articles, aims at sanctioning with jail time anyone who spreads “fake news” or distortions that “produce alarm, fear and anxiety in the population, or in a group or sector of it, or in a family.”
The Civic Alliance also indicated that following Barbosa’s capture, one day before Nicaragua’s highly criticized general “election” on November 7, “the regime’s agents ransacked her home without encountering any incriminating evidence.”
“We demand our member’s immediate release and respect for her physical and psychological integrity,” the organization urged.
Edder Muñoz: the latest political prisoner arrested
The Civic Alliance also denounced the arbitrary detention of released political prisoner Edder Muñoz from Masaya. His arrest, carried out by 13 Special Operations agents, was captured on the security cameras of his home.
Edder’s mother, Socorro Centeno, described his abduction to Confidencial as “horrible”. The officers raided his home and “put him face down, beat him severely, tied him up and locked him in his room. That’s where they planted the drugs. He told me as they were leaving, that they’d planted drugs on him. They wouldn’t let any of us see what was happening when they were there,” she emphasized.
For their part, the Civic Alliance exhorted: “thinking differently isn’t a crime,” while they demanded freedom for the opposition activist. “Enough arbitrary imprisonments!” the organization demanded.
This is the third time Muñoz has been arrested by the police. The first time was in December 2018, when he was released under the controversial Amnesty Law. Later, in September 2019, he was held for several hours and later freed. The released prisoner had filed a denunciation with the Permanent Commission for Human Rights, declaring that he’s been the victim of police siege and persecution.