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Communiqué from relatives of political prisoners held hostage since 2021 in the police station knowns as El Chipote

Freedom and justice for more than 181 political prisoners

We inform the people of Nicaragua and the international community that we were able to see our relatives between the 28th and 30th of April of this year and we are extremely concerned about the general deterioration of their health, caused by what we understand to be a systematic policy of torture aimed at breaking their bodies and minds. Faced with this extremely serious situation, we send an S.O.S. to the people of Nicaragua and to the international community.

During the visit we have corroborated the following facts consistent with what was stated in the previous paragraph:

– Systematic lack of access to health care in a timely, adequate and specialised manner. Illnesses and diseases are treated until the situation worsens or reaches extremes, they are not being taken to the infirmary, nor are they being given information about their weight, nor the results of the few tests they are given. Our concern is heightened in the cases of chronically ill people who require specialised medical care. We have identified a pattern of misdiagnosis, over-medication and/or inappropriate or contraindicated medication. This situation is causing worsening illnesses, allergies and even first and second-degree burns. We would like to specifically denounce the following situations that cause us extreme concern:

Aggravation of heart and blood pressure problems, as in the case of Juan Lorenzo Hollman, Mjguel Mendoza, among many others.

Inadequate mental health care, as in the case of Víctor Hugo Tinoco, who went three weeks without receiving his prescribed medication for anxiety, which caused him to suffer a depressive crisis throughout that period.

Increasingly repeated appearance of skin problems, acquired due to the absolutely unsanitary conditions in which they find themselves, causing fungal infections, eczema and even depigmentation.

Deterioration and lack of attention to dental health, as in the case of Violeta Granera, who has been without her teeth for 11 months.

Problems and injuries in the back that are turning into chronic problems due to the lack of adequate treatment, as in the case of Ana Margarita Vijil.

– The policy of isolation and incommunicado detention persists. Despite our constant complaints and demands for the regularisation and frequency of visits, they continue to fail to comply with the regulations of Law No. 473, Law of the Penitentiary Regime and Enforcement of Sentences. Telephone calls, letters, photos and drawings are still not allowed. Minor children are still not allowed to attend visits. In addition, many are in punishment cells, solitary confinement and in some cases in solitary confinement. Finally, during this last visit, we denounced the following extremely serious facts:

Constant harassment and lack of privacy, as well as arbitrariness in denying visits to family members, limiting or giving incorrect information about persons participating in the visit, and limiting physical contact with family members.

Sexualised assaults during searches of female relatives, touching of genitals and breasts.   Lack of attention to Covid-19 preventive measures, revision and manipulation of our masks.

NICARAGUA – Freedom and justice for the more than 181 political prisoners.

– Insufficient food rations. Due to this situation, our relatives are going hungry and we have again corroborated accelerated weight loss consistent with malnutrition, as in the case of Tamara Dávila, who we estimate already weighs less than 100 pounds.

– Consolidation of a policy of punishment and control that seeks to silence their voices and stop them from demanding their rights. The punishments have become more frequent and range from emotional blackmail, threats to transfer them to smaller cells with worse conditions and discretionary delivery of parcels that even result in deprivation of medicines, drinks and even toilet paper.

Faced with this extremely serious situation, we will not cease to collectively demand the immediate, unconditional and guaranteed release of our relatives and all the more than 181 political prisoners. Until their release takes place, we reiterate that their rights under the Mandela Rules must be respected:

1. That specialised, appropriate and timely medical attention be provided, with adequate medication for their health problems, both chronic and those resulting from the conditions of incarceration. Likewise, that the COVID-19 vaccination cycle be completed for them.

2. Compliance with the family visiting regime established by law, including the children of the family and the right to telephone calls and conjugal visits.

3. That they be allowed to receive reading and writing materials, the Bible or religious texts according to their faith, letters, drawings and photographs of family members who have not been able to visit them.

4. That all the conditions of hygiene, light and ventilation that a space should have in order to house a prisoner are guaranteed to house a human being. The change and improvement of mattresses, the provision of blankets to combat the cold at night and the establishment of common hours in the courtyard and in the sun, where they can interact with each other and with the space around them.

5. They should be allowed to handle their own packages and medicines, just as in the Penitentiary System. As well as a correct organisation and control in the delivery of parcels that guarantees that everything delivered by the family reaches their hands.

6 Immediate cessation of imprisonment in cells of 2×2 metres, sealed, without ventilation, with lights on 24 hours a day, or in cells in which lights on 24 hours a day or in permanent darkness and with no possibility of seeing or being seen from the outside, in which, Juan Lorenzo Holmann, Medardo Mairena Yader Parajón, Freddy Navas and Michael Healy are being held.

7.Immediate end to the isolation and incommunicado detention of Tamara Dávila, Suyen Barahona , Dora María Téllez and Ana Margarita Vijil.

8. Change of the prison regime to house in prison for all political prisoners of the elderly or with pressing health problems, as established in Law 473, Article 120, guaranteeing all persons in this regime access to quality, adequate, specialised and timely health care.

We remember that in the different penitentiary systems and police stations political prisoners are victims of human rights violations, so we will continue to add our voices to demand freedom for all political prisoners in NICARAGUA!

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