Nicaraguan Authorities Torture Imprisoned Civil Rights Activist
The Nicaraguan civil rights activist Ulises Rivas reports that he was tortured during his four month imprisonment, and fears having his prison sentence extended at his court appearance on January 15. Rivas was targeted by Nicaraguan authorities in reaction to his participation in protests against a gold mine project in his home district of Chontales, as well as for his work promoting the right of LGBT people to exercise their freedom of expression. During the Ortega government’s crackdown on protests he fled to Costa Rica in 2018, where he founded the Asociación Hijos del Arco Iris LGBT (“Children of the Rainbow Association”), an organization of LGBT Nicaraguan refugees. He was arrested on Sept 1, 2019, when he returned to the Chontales town of Comalapa for his father’s funeral. While in prison Rivas was abused by prison authorities multiple times. “I was bleeding and my entire body had been beaten and tortured,” he said. The International Committee of the Red Cross secured his release earlier this month, and he awaits this week’s court ruling. Read more about his story here.