At least seven journalists were hit and kicked by police after the offices of an opposition news site were ransacked. Authorities have tried to clamp down on dissent amidst fierce protests that have left hundreds dead.
At least seven journalists were beaten by police in Nicaragua on Saturday as authorities ramped up a campaign of media suppression. Independent journalism has been suffering under a months-long crackdown due to escalating protests against President Daniel Ortega.
Journalists led by the well-known editor Carlos Fernando Chamorro had gathered outside police headquarters in the capital Managua on Saturday, to demand answers over the ransacking of Chamorro's offices.
Chamorro is the editor of the Confidencial news site, which takes a confrontational approach towards the government. Photographs of Confidencial's headquarters in Managua on Friday showed empty shelves, papers and folders strewn all over the floor. Chamorro claimed that officials had confiscated numerous computers.
Buildings used by several civil society organizations banned by the government were also ransacked.
Since April, Nicaragua has seen some of its most intense political unrest since its civil war in the 1980s. Hundreds have been killed in anti-government protests, and hundreds more have been jailed for taking part in the demonstrations. In some cases, police have used live ammunition to try and subdue the crowds.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has said that Nicaragua has seen an "increase in repression against NGOs and independent media and journalists" in recent months.
Ortega's government has referred to the protests as an attempt to stage a coup.
es/bw (AFP, Reuters)