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Nicaraguan opposition leader Suazo sentenced to 10 years in prison: group

#Nicaraguan #opposition #leader #Suazo #sentenced #years #prison #group

Nicaraguan opposition leader Yubrank Suazo, who took part in protests against President Daniel Ortega’s government in 2018, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday, his group said.

A court in the capital Managua sentenced Suazo to five years in prison for “conspiracy to undermine national integrity” and another five years for disseminating fake news, according to the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, of which he was a director.

Suazo was “prosecuted and convicted without having committed a crime or having any connection to criminal structures,” the group said in a statement.

The 31-year-old hails from the southern city of Masaya, which was rocked by major anti-government protests in 2018.

The city had declared itself in rebellion against the government of ex-guerrilla Ortega as part of massive nationwide street protests.

The government’s crackdown on the demonstrations claimed 355 lives.

Suazo was arrested in 2018 but released in 2019 under a Catholic Church-brokered agreement with the government that also released several hundred other opposition figures.

But in May Suazo was arrested again and put on trial.

A Nicaraguan NGO working with political prisoners says about 190 opposition figures have been arrested.

About 45 opposition figures, including seven presidential candidates, were arrested ahead of last year’s election, in which Ortega capitalized on a lack of credible opposition to win a fourth straight term.

They were sentenced to up to 13 years in prison for allegedly undermining national security.

Ortega accuses his opponents of trying to oust him with the help of the United States, which has hit him and his inner circle with sanctions.

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