Ortega’s police assault Confidencial’s Newsroom
Armed police officers completely emptied out the offices, including all the journalists’ equipment
The offices of CONFIDENCIAL, where the newsroom of this weekly and online news site and the television shows Esta Semana and Esta Noche are located, were illegally and violently assaulted around midnight this Thursday by police officers of the Nicaraguan National Police, loyal to the Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo regime.
Computer equipment of the newsroom of CONFIDENCIAL were subtracted illegally in an act that director Carlos Fernando Chamorro qualified as a direct attack on freedom of speech, which has suffered the permanent harassment of the Ortega regime, incrementing in the last months in the context of official repression that since April 19th sums 325 deaths, thousands of wounded, dozens of disappeared and more than 600 political prisoners.
“They broke in like thieves”, Chamorro assured.
“This is an attack to shut down freedom of press, to silence CONFIDENCIAL, Esta Semana and Esta Noche. But they will not accomplish this. CONFIDENCIAL, Esta Semana and Esta Noche will continue working alongside the people, denouncing the regime’s abuses,” the journalist added.
From his Twitter account, Chamorro blamed the Ortega regime: “I denounce dictator Daniel Ortega, Supreme Chief of the National Police, as responsible of the police assault against the offices of Confidencial, Esta Semana and Esta Noche. They raided our newsroom. This was a brutal attack against freedom of press and freedom of enterprise.”
Denuncio al dictador Daniel Ortega, jefe supremo de la policia nacional, como responsable del asalto policial contra las oficinas de Confidencial, Esta Semana y Esta Noche. Saquearon nuestra redacción Un ataque brutal contra la libertad de prensa, y libertad de empresa
— Carlos F Chamorro (@cefeche) December 14, 2018
The illegal raid occurs in the context of the cancellation of the legal personality of nine civil society organizations in less that fifteen days orchestrated by the Sandinista bulldozer contingent of the National Assembly, the Congress of the country.
Among the nine organizations that have been cancelled is the Center of Investigation of Communications (Cinco), that was raided in this same building in 2008, also illegally. However, the private companies of Invermedia and Promedia, that produce the TV shows Esta Semana, Esta Noche, Confidencial and Niú that have no juridical, administrative or physical relationship with Cinco.
— Wilfredo Miranda (@PiruloAr) December 14, 2018
The security guards report that when the police arrived to raid the offices, they informed them “that they were investigating the non-governmental organization Cinco.” Security guards told the police that “this building is the headquarters of the companies Promedia and Invermedia and that there is no relationship with the Ngo Cinco which is housed in Plaza España.” However, police insisted. Thirty minutes later, two patrols with dozens of enraged officers forcibly entered the premises, Chamorro pointed out.
“The police officers detained the security guards, forced all the locks with violence, and illegally occupied the newsroom, my office, practically assaulted everything”, he narrated.
Chamorro demands that the Police give back all the equipment and documents that were extracted from the newsroom of CONFIDENCIAL and Esta Semana.
“They knew that the Ngo Cinco is in another address and has no relationship with these media companies. It is a deliberate attack against the independent press. They will not shut us up!,” he affirmed.
Chamorro remarked that this is an attack against the independent media, against freedom of press, the freedom of expression and also freedom of enterprise “because these are private companies that have been attacked and ransacked by the police.”
Exijo a la Policia que devuelva todos los equipos y documentos que saquearon en la redacción de Confidencial-Esta Semana. Ellos sabían que la Ong Cinco está en otro domicilio y no tiene ninguna relacion. Es un ataque deliberado contra la prensa independiente. No nos callarán!
— Carlos F Chamorro (@cefeche) December 14, 2018
Security personnel of the office detailed that a group of police officers arrived close to midnight and forced the entry. They also report being pointed at with guns by the officers.
Chamorro detailed that the door to his office was also forced, they took his computer CPU and different types of documents. “Not only in my office, also in the newsroom of CONFIDENCIAL, and the recording studio of Esta Semana that we had recently re-built”, he stated.
The front door to CONFIDENCIAL was left sealed with security tape that says Nicaraguan National Police.
Chamorro assured that they will present a legal appeal. “It is an attack that has no justification, no relationship with the persecution that is happening against the non-governmental organizations”, the journalist added.
“They know perfectly well that there is no relationship. I am going to help the dictatorship remember,” Chamorro stated after recapitulating the raid that the police performed to these facilities in 2008, when the offices of Cinco functioned in this building.