“The dictatorship is holding onto our paper, but it cannot hide the truth,” says the last print version of the government-critical newspaper “La Prensa”. Photo: Stringer / dpa
The paper, founded in 1926, will continue to provide information via its digital channels. The situation was due to a political decision by the authoritarian government of President Daniel Ortega, as was the case in 2018 and 2019, said Holmann.
On Friday, the police also searched the publishing house and opened an investigation into allegations of fraud and money laundering. According to the newspaper, servers were also switched off and electricity and internet connections were cut during the raid. “The international community should sharply condemn this abuse of power by the dictatorship,” said the regional head of the human rights organization Human Rights Watch, José Miguel Vivanco, on Twitter.
The Inter-American Press Association accused the government of adopting a “hostile attitude” towards the press and of deliberately blocking the release of paper deliveries. “This is a repeated practice of retaliation against the newspaper,” said a statement from the Miami-based association.
In Nicaragua, presidential elections are planned for November 7th. The former Sandinista revolutionary Ortega (75) is aiming for his fourth term in a row since 2007. His government has taken massive action against the opposition in recent months: More than 30 government critics have been arrested, including seven candidates for the presidency and one candidate for the office of vice-president.
Ortega had been in power after the revolution – first as a member of a junta, then as president – until he was voted out of office in 1990. In 2014, the ruling FSLN party passed a constitutional reform that removed limits on the presidential term.