A Nicaraguan bishop who has been sentenced to 26 years in prison for “undermining national integrity” and the “propagation of false news” has been nominated for the European Parliament Human Rights award.
On Monday, the European Foreign Affairs and Development Committees announced Bishop Rolando Alvarez as one of the nine nominees for the 2023 Sakharov Prize, after he received the support of 43 Members of the European Parliament.
Bishop Álvarez's ordeal began with his suspension from celebrating Mass and confinement to his residence in August last year. Later, he was arrested without explanation and thrown into prison.
He was then charged and convicted in a trial with a sentence that included 26 years behind bars and no contact with family or legal representation.
Earlier this month, ADF international filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to highlight the bishop’s case as there were no effective legal avenues in Nicaragua.
The prize, which was created in 1988, honours “exceptional individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms” and it grants £45,000.
Other nominees include Mahsa Amini, the Woman, Life, Freedom Movement in Iran, Afghan education activists Marzia Amiri and Vanessa Nakate, a young Ugandan committed to fighting against climate change and for human rights.
The awards ceremony takes place on 13th December in Strasbourg.