Bishop Declan Lang has expressed his shock and pain at the sentencing of Bishop Rolando Álvarez to 26 years’ imprisonment in Nicaragua.
Bishop Álvarez, the Bishop of Matagalpa in the north of the Central American country, was convicted on 10 February of treason, undermining national integrity and spreading false news, after refusing to be expelled along with 222 political prisoners opposing President Daniel Ortega’s regime.
Bishop Lang, Chair of the International Affairs department at the Bishops’ Conference, offered his prayers for all in the country fighting oppression and upholding justice and peace:
“I share the shock and pain of Catholics across the world, following the wholly unjust sentencing of Bishop Rolando Álvarez to 26 years imprisonment. Bishop Álvarez and the Church in Nicaragua have been living out the Gospel by tirelessly defending human rights amid worsening repression and violence.
“Our prayers are with them and all the country’s people, especially those who have been detained, harmed, or forced from their homes, for seeking to uphold justice and peace.”
Bishop Álvarez is currently being held in La Modelo, a maximum security prison around 20 kilometres from the capital Managua.