The John S. Knight (JSK) Journalism Fellowships condemns Nicaraguan authorities’ recent harassment of Confidencial, and its founder, editor, and 1998 JSK alumnus, Carlos Chamorro, a prominent Nicaraguan independent investigative journalist. The authorities must return the seized computers and other equipment and allow journalists to use their offices.
According to multiple news sources, the police raided Confidencial’s office in Managua yesterday morning and seized computers, cameras, and TV equipment, and took dozens of boxes of documents. The police also detained cameraman Leonel Gutiérrez, who was released after 7 hours of interrogation.
“Journalists around the world are being exposed to a new level of hostility by the governments of Nicaragua, Russia and other repressive regimes, resulting in a dramatic deterioration of press freedom,” said Dawn Garcia, JSK director. This raid on the offices of Confidencial follows a similar raid and seizure in April of reporting materials and interrogation of 2019 JSK alumnus Roman Anin, one of Russia’s top investigative journalists. Anin is editor of iStories, an independent online investigative newsroom. “JSK will continue to speak out against these acts of intimidation against its alumni community and journalists worldwide.”
The attack against Confidencial was just one in a series. In December 2018, the government raided the magazine’s newsroom and confiscated its equipment after Chamorro was forced into exile. He then returned to Nicaragua, relocated the newsroom, and continued reporting on the crimes and corruption of the Daniel Ortega dictatorship.
JSK joins the Committee to Protect Journalists and other press freedom organizations condemning the Nicaraguan government’s actions. JSK calls on governments around the world to stop the harassment of journalists and independent media.