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Catholic Church voices opposition to moves to censor social media in Nicaragua

Catholic Church leaders in Nicaragua have reportedly urged the national government not to censor social media, saying such a move would limit freedom of expression.

Commenting after news that President Daniel Ortega had spoken with the president of the National Assembly about reviewing social networks – a move which the government says is about protecting families and civil security but which critics say is simply about silencing dissenting voices, Agenzia Fides reported that Catholic bishops in the Central American nation have spoken out against it.

“The state should not control or censor social media because it would limit freedom of expression, nor should it stand as a moral arbiter of people…” the Catholic news agency quoted Mgr Silvio José Báez, auxiliary Bishop of Managua, as saying. “We deplore the attempts of public authorities to block access to information, on the internet or other social media, preventing legitimate freedom of expression and opinion.”

Mgr Rolando Álvarez, of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nicaragua, was quoted as saying that a law that limits the freedom of the population and freedom of expression, even on the web, is counterproductive.

“One must not limit anyone’s freedom: in social networks, as in any street, people can write and express their opinion, of course one must stigmatize the lack of respect or offenses to the dignity of the person, but not for this we can limit the freedom of people.”



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