222 Nicaraguan Prisoners Released, Brought to US
More than 220 inmates considered by many to be political prisoners of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government were released Thursday and flown to the United States, the State Department announced.
“Today, the United States welcomes 222 individuals who had been imprisoned by the Government of Nicaragua for exercising their fundamental freedoms and have endured lengthy unjust detentions,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday in a press statement.
“The release of these individuals, one of whom is a U.S. citizen, by the Government of Nicaragua marks a constructive step towards addressing human rights abuses in the country and opens the door to further dialogue between the United States and Nicaragua regarding issues of concern,” Blinken said, without naming the individuals.
A senior Biden administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, had said earlier that the government of Nicaragua decided unilaterally to release the prisoners.
Among those released were Nicaraguan business leaders, journalists, civil society representatives and students, according to the State Department.
The Nicaraguan opposition’s latest count on “political prisoners” held there had been 245.
Ortega has maintained that his imprisoned opponents and others were behind street protests in 2018 that he claims were a plot to overthrow him. Tens of thousands have fled into exile since Nicaraguan security forces violently put down those anti-government protests.
Some information from this report came from The Associated Press.
Published on 2023-02-09