In­ter­na­tional News Blurbs Inuit Women Artists

The McGill Daily - - Contents - Meyra Çoban The Mcgill Daily

Amaya Eva Cop­pens, a Nicaraguan-bel­gian ac­tivist and med­i­cal stu­dent, was de­tained in León, Nicaragua on Sep­tem­ber 10, 2018. The po­lice ac­cused her of “ter­ror­ism,” “as­saults,” and the “il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of firearms.”

To­gether with the im­pris­on­ment of dozens of other ac­tivists, the ar­rest of Cop­pens is part of the lat­est wave of Nicaraguan au­thor­i­ties de­tain­ing ac­tivists, many of which are stu­dent mem­bers of the April protests. In April 2018, Nicaragua’s Ortega ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced a so­cial se­cu­rity re­form that would in­crease work­ers’ tax con­tri­bu­tions, and ul­ti­mately lead to a de­crease in pen­sions. Nicaraguan pen­sion­ers, stu­dents, mer­chants, mem­bers of fem­i­nist and Cam­pesino (farmer) move­ments, and other cit­i­zens protested the pro­posal un­til it was re­voked 22 April 2018 by Pres­i­dent Ortega.

Dis­con­tent with the Nicaraguan au­thor­i­ties’ vi­o­lent han­dling of the demon­stra­tions has re­sulted in on­go­ing protests since April 2018. The pro­tes­tors de­mand the res­ig­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Ortega and of Vice-pres­i­dent, Rosario Murillo, who is also Ortega’s spouse. Con­cerns of po­lice vi­o­lence, in­fringe­ments on free speech, vi­o­la­tions of in­dige­nous peo­ples’ land rights and vi­o­lence against women in the coun­try are among the rea­sons peo­ple be­lieve the govern­ment should re­sign.

Ac­cord­ing to the Nicaraguan As­so­ci­a­tion for Hu­man Rights (Aso­ciación Nicaragüense Pro Dere­chos Hu­manos), the Nicaraguan au­thor­i­ties’ vi­o­lent re­sponse to the protests has re­sulted in the deaths of over 500, the in­jury of over 4,000 and the de­ten­tion of over 1,400 in­di­vid­u­als since April 2018. The Nicaraguan Cen­tre for Hu­man Rights (Cen­tro Nicaragüense por los Dere­chos Hu­manos), as well as the United Na­tions Hu­man Rights Of­fice of the High Com­mis­sioner, crit­i­cize the de­ten­tion of Cop­pens and other ac­tivists.

Cop­pens was held in in­com­mu­ni­cado de­ten­tion for nine days. This means that she was de­nied ac­cess to a lawyer, fam­ily mem­bers, or an in­de­pen­dent physi­cian. She has now been trans­ferred to the women’s prison “La Esper­anza” in Tip­i­tapa. Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from her fa­ther, de­spite a visit from her par­ents be­ing mon­i­tored and filmed by prison staff, Amaya man­aged to com­mu­ni­cate that she was beaten up while in de­ten­tion. She also re­vealed that she has not been tor­tured due to her diplo­matic po­si­tion as a Bel­gian cit­i­zen. How­ever, her fel­low Nicaraguan pris­on­ers may not be im­mune to this treat­ment. A Nicaragua To­day ar­ti­cle de­scribed the con­di­tions in the prison as “in­hu­mane” and re­ported that pris­on­ers are de­nied med­i­cal at­ten­tion de­spite some of them en­dur­ing crit­i­cal ill­nesses such as ter­mi­nal can­cer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.