Nicaragua frees some protesters after government crackdown, including Belgian activist

Several activists arrested in Nicaragua in November for taking water to protesters were freed Monday, including a Belgian dual-national.

Relatives and business leaders confirmed the release of several of the activists, and other confirmed their own release in messages posted to social media.

Those released included Belgian-Nicaraguan activist Amaya Coppens. Coppens was one of about 16 activists arrested on Nov. 14 and charged with illegally transporting arms.

Nicaraguan president considers changing unpopular policy after days of deadly protests

They had sought to assist women participating in a hunger strike at a church in Nicaragua.

The hunger strike was aimed at ending the detention of about 160 protesters still jailed following a government crackdown on demonstrations against president Daniel Ortega.

Largely student-led protests erupted in April 2018 over a social security overhaul and broadened to include a demand for Ortega’s exit from office and early elections.

Hundreds of protesters have been freed previously, including Coppens.

(C) 2019 The Canadian Press

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