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Nicaragua: Bishop Alvarez Returned to Prison

According to the newspaper, the Nicaraguan bishop was released by the Ortega regime, but was immediately put back in prison after his refusal to leave for Rome, a condition resulting from negotiations between the dictator and the Holy See.

Alvarez remained for 24 hours under the protection of the Episcopal Conference, although Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes denied the information. On Wednesday, he was brought back to Modelo prison for refusing exile as the price of his release.

Ecclesiastical and diplomatic sources contacted by the newspaper in recent days had confirmed that Bishop Alvarez “is no longer in Modelo prison,” where he has been in a maximum security cell since February 9, 2023, after having been sentenced in a lightening trial to 26 years and four months in prison for the alleged offences of “conspiracy against national sovereignty and dissemination of false news.”

Alvarez was arrested and transferred to Managua in the early hours of August 19, 2022, after two weeks of house arrest at the Episcopal Curia of Matagalpa. During his detention, he was only able to appear in public twice. In December 2022, when he was transferred to court. The second time he was shown dining with his relatives in the prison on 26 March.

In recent weeks, following the hearings between the Holy Father and the first Cuban President, Mr. de Diaz Canel, and then the Brazilian President, Mr. Lula da Silva, information had been leaked, which had not been denied by the Holy See, according to which these two politicians, close to the Ortega regime, are committed to the liberation of Bishop Alvarez.

However, he has repeatedly stated that he prefers to remain in prison and serve the unjust and wicked punishment to which he was sentenced.

On June 28, 2023, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) adopted a resolution ordering President Ortega Murillo to “immediately release Rolando José Alvarez Lagos, Bishop of Matagalpa, to take the necessary steps to effectively protect his life, health, and personal integrity” and “facilitate contact with his family members and lawyers,” and finally, to provide him with information on his situation before 7 July 2023.

Rolando José Alvarez, the Bishop of Matagalpa, who was released from prison last Monday, has returned to detention because of his refusal to go into exile in Rome, according to the daily El Confidential.

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