Father Edwin Roman who, along with a group of 10 mothers on a hunger strike, on Monday marked four complete days under siege in his parish, suffered two fainting spells for lack of food and medicine. Since Thursday, the church has been surrounded by police who have not allowed water, food or medicine to be brought in.
The information on the priest’s health came from a person accompanying the hunger strikers who was also locked in the church with no food.
“The health of Father Edwin Roman appears to be delicate. He suffered two fainting spells between Sunday night and the early Monday,” Santiago Fajardo posted on his Facebook account. Fajardo is a released political prisoner who is also inside the besieged church in Masaya, together with fourteen other people, including the priest.
Father Roman, 59, was placed under police siege in his church last Thursday, when ten mothers of political prisoners began a hunger strike to convince President Daniel Ortega to free some 139 Nicaraguans who have been jailed for opposing his government.
The priest, together with Fajardo, journalist Marlon Powell, human rights advocate and defense attorney Yonarqui Martinez and the ten mothers, are suffering an imposed fast, due to the government decision to have police close the church off completely from contact with the outside world, with an extensive armed cordon around the surrounding streets.
The priest is a cancer survivor
Roman, a cancer survivor, was termed a “hero” in 2018 for saving dozens of demonstrators from death during the armed attacks launched by government forces against Masaya. He had advised EFE in June of that year that “a pastor gives his life for his flock”.
In addition to lacking food and medicine, the people under siege are without electricity and water, since the government cut off both services to the church on Thursday.
The authorities have prevented the population from helping those shut into the church and have detained and charged 13 young people with serious fabricated crimes for trying to bring water to the church.