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Rights group: Nicaragua plans charges for detained activists

A Nicaraguan rights group says authorities will file charges against a group of government opponents, including 13 who were arrested for supporting protesters demanding freedom for people they consider political prisoners.

María Oviedo is a lawyer with the Permanent Commission on Human Rights in Nicaragua. She said Sunday that charges will be formally presented Monday. There was no immediate word on what crime or crimes may be charged, or what sort of punishment the activists could face.

The 13 were detained Thursday when they tried to enter Masaya’s San Miguel church to deliver water to the hunger strikers.

Father Edwin Roman attempts to convince the police to allow relatives of imprisoned and dead anti-government demonstrators to enter the San Miguel Arcangel Church in Masaya, Nicaragua, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. The relatives have started a hunger strike to demand the freedom of their relatives, jailed for protesting against the government of President Daniel Ortega. (AP PhotoAlfredo Zuniga)

Police have maintained a tight cordon around the area, and water and electricity services have been cut.

President Daniel Ortega’s government has repeatedly accused opposition protesters of being coup plotters and terrorists.

Martha Lorena Alvarado, mother of jailed anti-government demonstrator Melkkisedex Antonio Lopez, holds a sign with an image of her son at the San Miguel Arcangel Church in Masaya, Nicaragua, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. Alvarado has joined a hunger strike to demand the freedom of their relatives, jailed for protesting against the government of President Daniel Ortega. (AP PhotoAlfredo Zuniga)