The IWMF calls for the immediate release of Nicaraguan journalist Lucía Pineda

Following persistent detainment and mistreatment, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) calls for the immediate release of Nicaraguan journalist Lucía Pineda, who is now facing dire health issues as her condition continues to decline.

A journalist and director for the independent cable and digital news channel 100% Noticias, Pineda was most recently jailed in December 2018 under claims of “terrorism” and “inciting hate and violence,” despite an absence of evidence. The attacks on the press in Nicaragua have intensified within the past year following lengthy social security reform imposed by President Ortega and his government. Within this time, organizations that oversee freedom of expression have issued more than 700 cases of attacks on journalists.

Lucía and her colleague Miguel Mora have been held in pre-trial detention since their jailing four months ago, and are housed in solitary confinement with no visits allowed from family since February. The intentional speed that the Nicaraguan government is using to push Lucía and Miguel through court appearances also inhibits the ability for either to engage legal representation.

Last week Reporters Without Borders released its 2019 World Press Freedom Index, rating Nicaragua at a distressing #114 position – a ranking representing countries that are in a “difficult situation.”

The censorship and abuse of the press in Nicaragua cannot continue with impunity. The IWMF calls on all organizations supporting freedom of speech worldwide to join its demand for Lucía and Miguel to be freed; their lives currently depend on our ability to act, and to hold governments to account who silence news media.