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The leadership of the American Historical Association wrote last week to Nicaraguan authorities urging them to release Ricardo Baltodano Marcenaro, a professor at the Universidad Politécnica de Nicaragua. The monitoring group Scholars at Risk has reported that Baltodano was detained in September "in apparent retaliation" for his participation in nationwide protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega that started last April. On Sept. 18 Baltodano was accused by the National Police of Nicaragua of terrorism, murder and other crimes.

“The government’s charges against Prof. Baltodano appear to be based on the claim that the movement that emerged in April 2018 is prima facie a ‘terrorist’ enterprise,” the AHA letter says. “The nonviolent exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association, however, is expressly protected under international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”