Human Rights Association Celebrates The Release Of a Nicaraguan Exile In Panama

The Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (Anpdh) celebrated on Wednesday the release of the Nicaraguan exile José Issac Duarte, who had been held in a migrant center in Panama since the middle of last year.

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The executive secretary of the Anpdh, Álvaro Leiva, who is exiled in Costa Rica, issued a statement in which he thanked the Government of Panama and directly to President Laurentino Cortizo, for the humanitarian gesture that means the liberation of Duarte.

“Today, with great joy, we received the news that the Presidency of the Republic led by President Laurentino Cortizo had directed efforts to release him by humanitarian decision. This is a gesture of great humanism and to thank President Cortizo and all the Panamanian authorities, “said Leiva.

Leiva explained that Duarte was being held in a center for migrants in Panama and was facing a deportation process to Nicaragua, a country where, he says, his life is in danger if he returns.

According to Leiva, the Nicaraguan was released as a humanitarian gesture against the worldwide pandemic of the COVID-19 coronavirus and once the quarantine decreed in Panama is normalized, the process to obtain refuge will begin.

Duarte is part of the thousands of Nicaraguans who left their country as of April 2018 when social protests against the Government of Daniel Ortega began, which were violently repressed.

Thousands of Nicaraguan opponents of the Ortega government, journalists, human rights defenders, among others, are in exile who fear and fear for their lives and physical integrity if they return to their country.

Leiva affirmed that the Anpdh has been making efforts since last August for the liberation of Duarte and that it will continue to carry them out to obtain the status of refugee in Panama.

“We will be making efforts to achieve a happy ending as all Nicaraguans who have painfully exiled due to the deep crisis of human rights violation that exists in Nicaragua to this day deserve it,” said Leiva.

Since April 2018, Nicaragua has been experiencing a socio-political crisis that has left at least 328 dead, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), although local organizations such as the Anpdh raise the figure to more than 600.

The Ortega government only recognizes 200 dead and denounces an attempted “coup d’état”.

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