Nicaraguan bishop stripped of his citizenship, kept in isolation

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Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando Álvarez is being kept in isolation in cell Number 300, also known as the “infiernillo,” a maximum-security cell.

After refusing to leave with the rest of the 222 political prisoners flown to the U.S. on Thursday, Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando Álvarez was sentenced to 26 years in prison in Nicaragua. According to media reports quoted by NPR, “Álvarez stopped at the stairs leading to the airplane and said, ‘Let the others be free. I will endure their punishment.’”

In a speech confirming the release-exile of the 222 political prisoners, Ortega himself said that the Nicaraguan bishop had been taken to Cárcel La Modelo, a prison where most political prisoners opposing Ortega’s regime are held. According to local Nicaraguan reports, he is kept in isolation in cell Number 300, also known as the “infiernillo” (Spanish for “tiny hell”), a maximum-security cell.

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Sources affiliated with the Church told Despacho 505, a Nicaraguan independent news service, that “people from the prison center have said that he was taken there, but that he is confined in cell number 300, completely isolated.”

The source also stated that he is kept in isolation to prevent him from having contact with any other political prisoner.

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According to Pablo Cesio’s article for the Spanish edition of Aleteia, Álvarez was accused of “spreading fake news,” “conspiracy,” “contempt of authority,” and “aggravated obstruction of functions,” and thus was stripped of his nationality.

Priests being persecuted and threatened

After imprisoning Álvarez, the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo (Ortega’s wife) has been threatening priests to keep them from speaking about Álvarez in their homilies. Three priests were already imprisoned during the weekend. Two of them were released on Monday, while the third one remains in custody.

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