MEXICO CITY (OSV Information)—Imprisoned Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando Álvarez appeared unexpectedly on Nicaraguan tv March 24, greater than six weeks after refusing to be exiled from his nation, opting as a substitute to face his sentence of 26 years behind bars.
Pale, gaunt and wearing blue, Bishop Álvarez was reunited along with his brother and sister for a meal on the La Modelo jail, the place he has been held since unexpectedly being convicted in a secret trial of conspiracy for “undermining nationwide integrity” and spreading false data.
The looks adopted weeks of Catholic leaders and human rights teams demanding proof of life—with the final photographs of Bishop Álvarez courting again to a Jan. 10 courtroom date. He had beforehand been held below home arrest after being detained in an August 2022 raid on his diocesan headquarters.
Authorities-friendly media confirmed Bishop Álvarez breaking bread along with his siblings, then switched to a coerced interview with him. Bishop Álvarez was requested to verify he had obtained “dignified therapy”—one thing he confirmed, although different political prisoners have described their situations as squalid.
The looks adopted weeks of Catholic leaders and human rights teams demanding proof of life—with the final photographs of Bishop Álvarez courting again to a Jan. 10 courtroom date.
The interviewer then advised Bishop Álvarez, “We’re glad to see you doing properly,” to which the smiling bishop responded, “How do I look? Wholesome? And my face, how does it look?”
Bishop Álvarez’s response ignited a social media storm amongst Nicaraguans — a lot of whom have fled the Central American nation because the Ortega regime turns more and more tyrannical and suppresses all dissenting voices.
“It overjoys me to see photographs of my brother, Monsignor Rolando. I give due to God that he’s alive!” tweeted Auxiliary Bishop Silvio José Baez of Managua, who’s exiled in Miami. “The dictatorship’s staging of this has been repugnant and cynical and doesn’t erase its crime. The pressure of the individuals’s prayers and worldwide stress has been revealed. Launch him now!”
Bishop Baez mentioned in his March 26 homily, “Those that have locked up and have wished to silence Rolando’s voice, don’t be deceived: you’re the true prisoners, prisoners of evil, of ambition, of cruelty. Take away the stone from the jail door and launch the bishop.”
Nicaraguan lawyer Yader Morazán advised OSV Information that the regime possible thought of worldwide stress in presenting the bishop, as human rights legal professionals are investigating the pressured disappearance.
He additionally famous the bishop’s apparel didn’t match the clothes given to inmates in Nicaraguan prisons.
“We are able to see this as utilizing the justice system for political propaganda, having now exhibited an individual this fashion.”
“We are able to see this as utilizing the justice system for political propaganda, having now exhibited an individual this fashion,” mentioned Morazán, who fled Nicaragua in 2018 and was just lately stripped of his citizenship.
Daniel Ortega and his spouse, Vice President Rosario Murillo, have branded Catholic bishops “terrorists” and “coup plotters,” and just lately severed diplomatic relations with the Vatican. The Vatican closed its embassy in Managua in March with the chargé d’affaires, Monsignor Marcel Diouf, leaving the nation.
“We’ve got a bishop in jail, a really severe and succesful man, who wished to provide his testimony and didn’t settle for exile,” Pope Francis advised the Argentine media outlet Infobae simply previous to relations being severed. “It’s one thing from outdoors of what we live, as if it have been a communist dictatorship in 1917 or a Hitlerian one in 1935.”
Nicaragua launched 222 political prisoners Feb. 9, sending them to america and stripping them of their Nicaraguan citizenship. Bishop Álvarez refused to board the airplane and was subsequently convicted and sentenced.