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Nicaragua releases dozens of political prisoners after hunger strikes from mothers and US sanctions 

Dozens of political prisoners have been released form Nicaragua, following the strengthening of US sanctions on the country and hunger strikes from the mothers of those being detained.

The Nicaraguan government said that at least 91 prisoners had been released, but the New York Times reported that it remained unclear whether their sentences have been converted to a form of house arrest or if the charges had been dropped.

Many of those arrested were detained after taking part in anti-government protests in the country in April 2018.

“I had been sentenced to five years for supposedly stealing a Sandinista Party member’s I.D. card, but the real reason was because I was against the government — and I am going to continue to be against the government,” said one prisoner Scannierth Merlo Lacayo, after his release.

“This is a great day for Nicaragua, because it proves what we had been saying all along: There are political prisoners in Nicaragua,” said Martha Alvarado, whose 30-year-old son, Melkissedex A. López Ferrey, was also released from detention. “We never lost faith, and we are not giving up until everyone is free.”

See more from the New York Times here.