Guatemala City, May 22, 2023—Nicaraguan authorities should drop their criminal investigation into journalist Victor Ticay and release him immediately, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Monday.
On May 19, prosecutors accused Ticay, a correspondent for the Nicaraguan TV station Canal 10, of treason and cybercrime, according to multiple news reports. He has been held at a police station in Managua, the capital, since he was arrested while covering an Easter celebration on April 6.
“Nicaraguan authorities never should have detained journalist Victor Ticay in the first place. By accusing him of crimes that carry harsh prison sentences, authorities are showing how little regard they have for press freedom,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna, in New York. “The case against Ticay should be dropped immediately and Nicaraguan law enforcement must stop targeting journalists for their work.”
Those news reports said that one suspect arrested at the same time and facing the same accusations as Ticay was expected in court on June 7. CPJ could not immediately determine if Ticay is also due in court on that date.
If charged and convicted of treason, Ticay could face up to six years in prison. Convictions for cybercrime carry up to 10 years.
CPJ repeatedly called the Nicaraguan national prosecutor’s office for comment, but no one answered.