Home World 5 monks sentenced to 10 years for conspiracy in Nicaragua

5 monks sentenced to 10 years for conspiracy in Nicaragua



MEXICO CITY — A Nicaraguan courtroom has sentenced 4 Roman Catholic monks to 10 years in jail on conspiracy fees stemming from long-standing authorities allegations that the church backed unlawful pro-democracy protests.

A human rights group within the Central American nation shortly denounced the sentences handed down Monday and made recognized by attorneys of the Authorized Protection Unit.

It was the most recent chapter in a crackdown on the church by President Daniel Ortega.

On Sunday, a fifth priest was sentenced to 10 years in jail on the identical fees.

The monks have been convicted in closed-door trials during which government-appointed defenders acted because the monks’ attorneys.

These sentenced Monday had labored with Matagalpa Bishop Rolando Álvarez, and one had been rector of the privately run Juan Pablo II College within the capital of Managua.

Álvarez is below home arrest on fees of conspiracy and “damaging the Nicaraguan authorities and society,” and is about to be sentenced quickly.

Two seminary college students and a cameraman who labored for the diocese have been additionally sentenced Monday. All six of the defendants have been arrested final 12 months, and all have been stripped of the precise to ever maintain political workplace.

The Nicaraguan Human Rights Middle described the sentences as “a authorized aberration.”

“That is an insult to the legislation, an insult to folks’s intelligence, an insult to the worldwide group and the worldwide businesses for the safety of human rights,” the middle mentioned in an announcement Tuesday.

Alvarez, the bishop, had been a key non secular voice in discussions of Nicaragua’s future since 2018, when a wave of protests towards Ortega’s authorities led to a sweeping crackdown on opponents.

On Sunday, Rev. Óscar Danilo Benavidez, a priest in Mulukuku in northern Nicaragua, was sentenced for conspiracy and spreading false data. He had been arrested Aug. 14.

The federal government arrested dozens of opposition leaders in 2021, together with seven potential presidential candidates. They have been sentenced to jail final 12 months in fast trials that additionally have been closed to the general public.

Ortega has contended the pro-democracy protests have been carried out with international backing and with the assist of the Catholic Church. Final 12 months, he expelled the nuns from Mom Teresa’s Sisters of Charity non secular order and the papal nuncio, the Vatican’s high diplomat in Nicaragua.

Final August, Pope Francis informed 1000’s of individuals gathered in St. Peter’s Sq. that he was carefully following with “fear and sorrow” occasions in Nicaragua that contain “individuals and establishments.” He didn’t point out the dententions of the monks or Álvarez.

“I want to specific my conviction and my hope that by way of technique of open and honest dialogue, one can nonetheless discover the bases for respectful and peaceable co-existence,″ the pope mentioned.

Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla who first got here to energy in 1979 after the Sandinista revolutionary group he helped lead overthrew the dictatorship of President Anastasio Somoza, infuriated the Vatican within the Eighties. However he steadily cast an alliance with the church as he moved to regain the presidency in 2007 after an extended interval out of energy.

Then simply days earlier than he was elected to a fourth consecutive time period final 12 months, he accused the nation’s Catholic bishops of getting drafted a political proposal in 2018 on behalf “of the terrorists, on the service of the Yankees.” He additionally labeled the bishops themselves as terrorists.



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