Latin America

Nicaragua police beat journalists, reports

Nicaraguan police have beaten several journalists protesting against earlier raids on their offices, reports say.

They say this happened as the reporters gathered outside a police station in the capital Managua, saying the raids were illegal.

Nicaragua has been rocked by months of protests against President Daniel Ortega, who is accused of restricting civil liberties in the country.

The president in turn accuses the protesters of planning a coup.

Hundreds of people have been killed in clashes between demonstrators and the security forces since April.

Carlos Fernando Chamorro, who runs the online daily Confidencial, accused the police of acting without any justification.

"This is an armed assault on private property, freedom of the press, freedom of expression and free enterprise," he said.

Nicaragua's police have so far not commented on the reported beatings of the journalists.

Read more about Nicaragua's crisis:

The demonstrators in the Central American country first rallied against planned changes to the country's social security system, but the protests soon escalated to include the demand for President Ortega to resign.

Mr Ortega, who has been in power since 2007, declared the protests illegal on 28 September.

He accuses the demonstrators of planning a coup against his democratically-elected government and of incitement to violence.

Local human rights groups as well as the United Nations Office for Human Rights have documented alleged human rights violations which range from illegal detention to torture.

Original Article

BBC

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