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Concerned families in Nicaragua wait outside jails for news of their loved ones

Concerned families in Nicaragua wait outside jails for news of their loved ones
By Louise MinerHéctor Estepa
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It's after arrests were made at anti-government protests which continued over a three month period


An improvised camp has been erected outside Managua's El Chipote jail in Nicaragua.

Every day, families of opposition demonstrators who've been arrested after anti-government protests, come here to look for their loved ones and for any information.

They're also helped by human rights NGO's.

Braulio Abarca works at the Nicaraguan Centre for Human Rights and says, "Between other cases we have people who've been tortured with a kind of strangling with water and with rags in their mouths. In other cases, we received criticisms from youngsters and of women who've been victims of rape by the national police and also by the para-police force".

NGO's count at least 300 detained people in various jails. Relatives of prisoners bring them food and they examine their legal situation. They will not leave until their ones are freed

Margarita Ortiz is a relative of a prisoner and she says, "We have slept out here in the open sky, waiting for justice to do something so we can get our children out".

Jose Medina is also a relative of a prisoner and is very concerned with the situation and says, "We think that this is unfair. Everyday there are around 5 or 7 deaths. And around 20, 30, 40 ransomed by the government, by police, paramilitaries, para-police. I think that the Government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo have insisted on remaining in power at the expense of the blood of the Nicaraguans".

Some of the families don't even know which prison their relatives are in and wait anxiously for news.

Maribel Martinez says, "He was taken from his house, he was inside with his daughter. And he was beaten a lot. He was taken out while beaten. He was put into a pickup truck. But we don’t know his whereabouts. In Masaya they tell us that he is here. Here they send us to other departments to look for him".

Now they fear more people will be arrested.

Our reporter, Hector Estepa says, "Three months of anti-government protests leave more than 350 deaths in Nicaragua. There are thousands who are wounded. Opposition demonstrators condemn the huge repression on the hands of armed civilians loyal to President Daniel Ortega. Government differs and thinks that the opposition is being paid by other countries and condemns a Coup. Héctor Estepa, from Managua, for Euronews".

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