Nicaragua: Dissident Claims Communist Police Beat Him over Tiktok Videos

Riot police deploy in the streets after the Nicaraguan opposition called for a protest in Managua on February 25, 2020. - Nicaraguan opposition presented a coalition made up of seven groups opposed to the government of Daniel Ortega, and asked for more support to face the president in the 2021 …
INTI OCON/AFP via Getty Images

A member of the anti-communist opposition in Nicaragua claimed one of the heads of the National Police beat him following his recent arrest for mocking the country’s communist regime on the Chinese social media platform TikTok.

Kevin Adrián Monzón Mora was arrested December 16 for the second time this year after authorities learned of the video. Posting on Twitter, he identified Inspector General of the National Police Jaime Vanegas as “one of those who beat me” during his recent detention.

“This is the Sandinista police chief who beat me and told me I would never see my mother again,” he wrote. “This man proceeded to tell me they had found marijuana in my bag and would open a further investigation against me. A criminal in uniform.”

In an interview with the Digital Noticias website, Monzón said that he was arrested “without any reason,” although he suspected it was for publishing TikTok videos mocking the vice president and wife of the country’s dictator, Daniel Ortega. Monzón claimed he was transferred to a police station and held there for seven days.

Monzón explained that agents “checked a book with an image alluding to political prisoners” before the police chief “gave the order to beat me and hit me in the face and chest.” He added that police threatened him with further persecution unless he stopped publishing such criticisms and kept “low profile.” He has pledged to continue campaigning against Ortega’s communist tyranny.

Nicaragua has been in a state of political and economic unrest since April 2018, when mass demonstrations broke out against deteriorating economic conditions and Ortega’s authoritarian control over the country’s institutions.

Following that outbreak, security forces launched a brutal crackdown against political dissidents that left more than 300 people dead and over 2,000 injured.

Such deterioration of Nicaragua’s democratic systems has taken place since Ortega first came to office in 1979 following decades of guerrilla warfare by the far-left Sandinista National Liberation Front.

Similar to the economic and humanitarian crisis in socialist Venezuela, the U.S. has taken steps to try to remove Ortega from office through the imposition of economic sanctions against his regime. In November 2018, President Donald Trump imposed sanctions against both Ortega and his wife that banned American entities from dealing with them in any capacity. These measures were followed in July this year with sanctions against their son, Juan Carlos Ortega, while dozens of other senior regime and military officials also made the blacklist for their involvement in egregious human rights abuses.

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