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Nicaraguan opposition leader Suazo sentenced to 10 years in prison

By Marlon Sorto, CNN

Nicaraguan opposition leader Yubrank Suazo, who participated in protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega in 2018, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH) said Wednesday.

The sentence was imposed by Judge Ulisa Tapia Silva at a court in the capital, Managua. He was sentenced to five years in jail for conspiracy to undermine national integrity and a further five years for spreading false news, as well as a fine equivalent to about $1,500, the group said.

CENIDH, where Suazo served as a director, condemned the sentencing as unjust. It called the hearing a “judicial farce” and claimed authorities repeatedly violated the “guarantees of due process.”

In Nicaragua, trials of opposition leaders are usually held behind closed doors without the presence of journalists. Only Suazo’s defense attorney was present at the hearing, CENIDH said.

Suazo’s defense attorney, Maynor Curtis, said he will appeal the sentence.

Police arrested Suazo on May 18 this year from his parents’ home in the western city of Masaya, which saw widespread anti-government protests four years ago.

Suazo was detained for almost a year in 2018 for participating in the demonstrations, but was released in 2019 under an amnesty law that pardoned protesters.

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