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According to a Source: Jailed Nicaragua Bishop Alvarez Released and Re-arrested

According to a Source: Jailed Nicaragua Bishop Alvarez Released and Re-arrested

According to a diplomatic source in Managua, Bishop Rolando Alvarez, who had been incarcerated in Nicaragua, was temporarily released but subsequently re-arrested when he refused to leave the country. The bishop had been serving a 26-year prison sentence since February for his refusal to board a plane bound for the United States, which was carrying 222 political prisoners into exile.

The anonymous diplomatic source revealed that Alvarez was released on Monday but was later returned to the prison where he had been held for the past five months on charges of “undermining national integrity.”

However, Archbishop Leopoldo Brenes of Managua refuted this account, dismissing it as “speculation.” He criticized the dissemination of unverified news that had caused undue commotion, citing similar occurrences involving journalists.

Reports of Alvarez’s release had been circulating since Tuesday, particularly among Nicaraguan media in exile.

Bishop Alvarez has been an outspoken critic of what he perceives as restrictions on religious freedom imposed by the government of President Daniel Ortega, who has been in power since 2007.

Last week, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a demand for the immediate release of Monsignor Rolando José Álvarez and called for measures to safeguard his life and well-being.

Tensions have strained relations between the Holy See and Managua. Earlier this year, the Vatican’s embassy in Nicaragua was closed after Pope Francis referred to Ortega’s government as a dictatorship in an interview.

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