Freedom for Juan Sebastian Chamorro

Juan Sebastian Chamorro is a developmental economist and political prisoner in Nicaragua. On June 8, 2021, forces of Daniel Ortega’s regime raided his home and seized Juan Sebastian. For 84 days, Juan Sebastián was disappeared—held in an undisclosed location without access to his lawyers or family.  

After nearly three months of being detained without charge, Juan Sebastián was charged with “conspiracy to undermine national integrity,” charges which are clearly political and intended to silence his activism for democracy and human rights. After a seven-day trial replete with grave substantive and due process violations, Juan Sebastián was found guilty on February 23, 2022. On March 3, 2022, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison. A full description of the trial is available here. 

On the last day of his trial, after being forced to sit in silence for the entirety of the proceedings, Juan was permitted a few minutes to make a statement. He said: 

“I am very honored to be with these Nicaraguans in this place. I am truly grateful for my lawyer and to the other lawyers for their work. At this moment I know there are many things to think about: 51 years ago I received the gift of life, and I have had an upright life. My experiences show I have lived properly, I have searched for solutions to the problems of my country, I have negotiated in favor of my country, and this gives me peace. I want all of this to be documented, what is happening to be written down, so that my daughter and successive generations know what really took place here so they can understand what happened. I am innocent: only God, history, and my country Nicaraguan can judge me. I am at peace, I have faith and hope because I know that God and the Nicaraguan people know I am innocent.”

Juan Sebastian’s detention is illegal and in violation of international law.  He must be immediately and unconditionally released.

This campaign has been launched to fund international efforts underway to protect Juan Sebastian’s human rights, secure his release, and advocate for the release of all political prisoners in Nicaragua.  Your contributions help to support his defense and raise awareness about the human rights abuses being committed in Nicaragua today.


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