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Nicaraguan Regime Accused of Kidnapping Priest for Seeking Prayers for Bishop
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Attorney Martha Patricia Molina is accusing the Nicaraguan regime of "kidnapping" Father Osman Jose Amador Guillen after he requested prayers for Bishop Rolando Alvarez of Matagalpa. This shocking incident sheds further light on the ongoing human rights issues and suppression of religious freedom in Nicaragua.
Father Amador Guillen, a priest from Nicaragua, found himself in a dire situation when he was taken into custody by the Sandinista Police on the night of September 8, without any legal justification or a court order to support his arrest. Martha Patricia Molina, known for her work and her report titled "Nicaragua: A Persecuted Church?", strongly condemned this arbitrary detention, labeling it as a kidnapping. This term is widely used by Latin American human rights advocates to describe cases of arbitrary arrests without legal grounds.
Molina stated, "There was no court order that justified his arrest. His whereabouts are unknown. He has recently asked for prayers for Bishop Rolando Alvarez, and that's why they have kidnapped him." This arrest appears to be a punitive action against Father Amador Guillen for advocating for prayers and support for Bishop Alvarez, who himself is facing a 26-year, four-month prison sentence on charges of being a "traitor to the homeland."
According to reports from Nicaraguan media outlet El Confidencial, the alleged kidnapping took place around 10 in the evening when a group of riot police forcibly entered a Catholic church where members of the clergy were gathered. Father Amador Guillen's association with the now-closed CAritas EstelĂ, which was shut down by the Sandinista regime in February 2022, may have further contributed to his detention.
Martha Patricia Molina expressed deep concerns that Father Amador Guillen might be unjustly implicated in the case of two other priests, Eugenio RodrĂguez Benavides and Leonardo Guevara Gutierrez, who were arrested in May. These priests are currently under investigation regarding "administrative matters of the defunct Diocesan Caritas of Esteli" and are being held in Managua.
The situation for priests and religious figures in Nicaragua remains precarious. Molina revealed that parishes are under constant surveillance by regime infiltrators, who monitor and record priests' homilies. These recordings are sent to a location referred to as "El Carmen," where the authoritarian couple of Ortega-Murillo resides. There, the sermons of parish priests are analyzed, adding to the oppressive atmosphere faced by the clergy.
Furthermore, the Sandinista regime has taken the extreme step of prohibiting the mention of Bishop Rolando Alvarez in Masses and prayers. This has led to lay groups, priests, and seminarians secretly praying for the Bishop's well-being. Anyone daring to mention Bishop Alvarez in their homilies or during Mass faces immediate police intervention and potential arrest.
The case of Father Osman Jose Amador Guillen and the continued repression of religious freedom in Nicaragua highlight the urgent need for international attention and action to address human rights violations in the country. As the world watches, it is crucial to advocate for the rights and safety of those who are unjustly targeted and to support the principles of religious freedom and justice for all.
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