Nicaraguan Catholic bishop sentenced to prison, stripped of citizenship


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Nicaraguan Catholic bishop sentenced to prison, stripped of citizenship

PROTEST. Religious organizations demand respect for religious freedom and an end to the persecution against the church and against the opponents of the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega outside the Nicaraguan Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico, August 16, 2022.


Bishop Rolando Alvarez is a fierce critic of President Daniel Ortega's increasingly authoritarian government

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – A Nicaraguan court sentenced Catholic Bishop Rolando Alvarez to a more than 26-year prison term on Friday, February 10, a day after the cleric and critic of President Daniel Ortega declined to be expelled to the United States as part of a prisoner release.

Alvarez was convicted on charges of undermining national integrity and spreading false news, and during Friday’s court hearing it was also announced that he would be fined and stripped of his Nicaraguan citizenship. (READ: Catholic priests in Nicaragua sentenced to decade behind bars)

Last August, police arrested Alvarez, bishop of the Matagalpa diocese, after dislodging him after he had barricaded himself in church property for several weeks along with other priests.

Alvarez was included in the surprise political prisoner release covering a total of 222 individuals and announced by Ortega’s government on Thursday, February 9, but Alvarez refused to board the plane destined for Dulles International Airport near Washington.

In televised remarks later on Thursday, the increasingly authoritarian Ortega derided the released prisoners as criminal agents of foreign powers who sought to undermine national sovereignty, and said Alvarez had been returned to jail. –

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