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Cablegate: Nicaragua: Potential Political Prisoner Granted Amensty

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #1264 3351533
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 011531Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0211
INFO WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS MANAGUA 001264

SIPDIS
DEPT FOR WHA/CEN
DEPT FOR INR/IAA
STATE FOR USOAS
STATE PASS TO USAID/LAC
STATE PASS TO MCC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV NU
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA: POTENTIAL POLITICAL PRISONER GRANTED AMENSTY

REF: 2008 MANAGUA XXX

1. (SBU) On November 18, the Nicaraguan National Assembly granted
amnesty to Sandinista dissident and Catholic missionary Alberto
Steffano Boschi. Mr. Boschi, who is a dual Nicaraguan-Italian
citizen, fled the country for Italy in November 2008 after being
found guilty and sentenced to one year in prison for his alleged
aggression against a pro-Ortega journalist during a July 30, 2008
protest by youth who opposed the government (see Ref).

2. (SBU) Boschi, who was convicted in October 2008 by a court
stacked with pro-Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN)
judges, always maintained his innocence. NGOs and human rights
organizations condemned the sentence as political and were the
first to call Boschi a political prisoner. The opposition blocks
in the National Assembly that voted for Boschi's amnesty also
considered that he had been a victim of "political persecution and
intolerance from the ruling FSLN." Not surprisingly, the FSLN
block in the National Assembly voted against the amnesty measure
for Boschi.
CALLAHAN

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