Bianca Jagger joins outcry as Nicaraguan despot Daniel Ortega detains election rivals in bid to hold on to power
- Bianca Jagger says leader Daniel Ortega would do anything to stay in power
- Recent widespread protests there have been met with violent crackdowns
- The Nicaraguan opposition leader Suyen Barahona was detained yesterday
Bianca Jagger has condemned the oppressive leader of a Central American state after he detained rivals on trumped-up charges in a bid to secure a fourth term as president
Bianca Jagger has condemned the oppressive leader of a Central American state after he detained rivals on trumped-up charges in a bid to secure a fourth term as president.
Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega has picked off contenders ahead of elections in November and faces mounting international fury over his authoritarian rule.
At least seven presidential hopefuls have been rounded up there since June 2.
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has urged their release, while the US has announced sanctions against Nicaraguan officials over alleged human rights abuse.
Mrs Jagger, a Nicaraguan human rights defender and former wife of rock star Sir Mick, said: ‘Daniel Ortega would do anything to stay in power – there is no limit to the repression he would employ.
‘The tyrant is also a coward for preventing members of the opposition from being able to participate in the next presidential elections – the relentless persecution of opposition candidates, the violent attacks, harassment and the arrest of presidential candidates.
‘Daniel Ortega has made a mockery of our right to participate in a fair, free and democratic election. The next elections, if they ever happen, will be once again a fraudulent election in Nicaragua.’
Ortega, 75, spent a decade in power after the Sandinista Revolution, which deposed Anastasio Somoza in 1979. He returned to office in 2007, winning re-election in 2011 and 2016. Recent widespread protests have been met with violent crackdowns.
Opposition leader Suyen Barahona was detained yesterday, for allegedly ‘inciting foreign interference in internal affairs [and] requesting military interventions’.
Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega has picked off contenders ahead of elections in November and faces mounting international fury over his authoritarian rule
The first to be detained, on trumped-up money laundering charges, was Cristiana Chamorro – tipped to beat Ortega. Next was ex-ambassador to the US Arturo Cruz, held under a repressive treason law.
Juan Sebastian Chamorro and Felix Madariaga were held after being accused of inciting foreign interference in domestic affairs. Jose Adan Aguerri, former head of the biggest business lobby, opposition activist Violeta Granera and ex-foreign minister Jose Pallais were also detained.
Four more opposition leaders held over the weekend included Dora Maria Tellez, Ana Margarita Vijil, Tamara Davila and former general Hugo Torres. Mr Torres said: ‘This is not a transition to dictatorship, it is a dictatorship in every way.’