Arbitrary arrests and trials of journalists are taking place

May 11, 2021

The story of two harassed reporters who are facing arbitrary trials shows how the Nicaraguan government is increasing repressive measures against the media, journalists and writers expressing critical positions.

Reporter arrested in northern region of Nicaragua

The Human Rights Collective Nicaragua Nunca Más is based in Costa Rica and condemned the arbitrary detention of Nicaraguan journalist Jacdiel Rivera Cornejo, correspondent for Channel 10 television.

Rivera was arrested on May 5 as he was working on a journalistic coverage in the municipality of Yalí – Jinotega. Through a text message, he managed to inform that he was being detained. Allegedly, Rivera was transferred to the Yalí police station for a supposed robbery. Thereafter he was set free.

“In the police-truck, one of the officers told me that I was destabilizing the country. At the station, they told me that I was cheating. When I was released they told me that I should always identify myself and report my activity to the Police,” said the journalist.

Four days earlier, the journalist had appeared on Facebook Live denouncing that police agents were preventing him from covering a drug seizure. According to Rivera, the police also sieged him and threatened to take him to prison.

Journalist David Quintana payed his fine thanks to a fundraising action.

Through a fundraising action, independent journalist and director of Boletín Ecológico David Quintana managed to collect the 13,500 Cordobas (about 387 USD) which he was fined by a local judge who found him guilty of the crimes of defamation and slander, in a case against the press that was flagged as “political”.

It took him 42 days to raise that amount with the help of colleagues and friends. Thereafter, a second judge dismissed his appeal, after he was condemned for interviewing a couple involved in a property dispute.

“I asked my people to support me, because unfortunately all my legal resources are exhausted. In this situation I always have to pay. Journalists who are covering the Nicaraguan crisis will definitely not get rich” said Quintana. Quintana has upheld his innocence because Nicaraguan laws do not prevent interviews. He is deeply grateful for the support received “by humble people”. Indeed, on one occasion he received a $ 0.05 deposit – and a peasant woman told him that she sold a chicken to help with the fundraise.

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