Arnaldo Arita and Jorge Cabrera, correspondents for the Reuters international news agency in Nicaragua, denounced the robbery and the aggressions suffered by hooded men and protected by the Policía Nacional (National Police), while covering the attack on the protesters who remained on the barricades on Monday in the Managua neighborhood, El Edén.

Arnoldo Arita, Reuters news correspoindent in Managua

Both reporters were robbed of their cameras, chargers, cell phones, computers, photographic lenses, backpacks, money and personal documents.

The reporters arrived at El Edén bridge sector, while the police, accompanied by hooded and armed individuals, dismantled the barricades located in the sector and fired on civilians.

“When I arrived at the place, one of the policemen beckoned to the hooded men and they let six hooded and armed men approach me, who to me were plainclothes police officers. I told them I was with the international press, but they did not care. They robbed me in sight of the uniformed officers,” Arnaldo Arita explained to El Nuevo Diario.

According to the reporter, when he asked an officer what he could do to recover his devices, the office replied: “Retreat, it can get worse for you.”

“It is a censorship, vandalism handled by the police because the same ones who robbed me went to the police,” Arita said.

The Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) has condemned the “continued repression” against the freedoms of expression and assembly in Nicaragua in recent days, in particular, the physical attacks on journalists.

Roberto Rock, president of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, said that “attacking the press is attacking freedom of expression and restricting the right of Nicaraguans to be informed.”

All this while the country waits for President Ortega to reply to the Episcopal Conference demands made last Thursday. Ortega told the Bishops he would need two days to consider their proposal. It’s now day 5 and no word from Ortega.

Article originally appeared on Today Nicaragua and is republished here with permission.


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