Aug 16, 2018 16:02 Asia/Tehran

Thousands have taken to the streets of the Nicaraguan capital, Managua, to demand the release of hundreds arrested during nearly four months of anti-government protests in the country.

IranPress/America: "Freedom, freedom!" demonstrators chanted as they marched , some carrying signs that read "justice and freedom" for those arrested.

 Protesters accuse Ortega's government of using heavy handed tactics to curb the demonstrations, including arbitrarily arresting thousands of people. 

According to the Civic Alliance, an organisation representing the protesters, about 400 people who have been arrested since the protests began in Nicaragua in mid-April remain in detention. Nearly 140 have been charged with crimes, including terrorism and organised crime, the organisation said. 

Nicaragua's unrest began on April 18 with protests against a pension reform plan, which has since been dropped. 

But violent repression has led opposition anger to mushroom into a broad campaign against Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, who are accused of running a corrupt dictatorship.  

Protesters have demanded Ortega's resignation and early elections, but the embattled president has said he will not bring polls scheduled for 2021 forward. 


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