Amaya Eva Coppens is a fifth-year medical student at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua – León, who was detained on September 10, 2018, in apparent retaliation for her participation in a nationwide protest movement. Ms. Coppens, a Belgian-Nicaraguan dual citizen, has actively participated in the nationwide, student-led protests that began in April 2018 that sought democratic reforms, protested austerity measures, and called for President Daniel Ortega to step down. In addition to being one of the leaders of the 19th of April Student Movement in the city of León, Ms. Coppens is also a member of the University Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CUDJ), Civil Alliance, and Social Movements Network. Read more.
Ms. Coppens reported receiving death threats over social media and other forms of intimidation. Due to the threats, Ms. Coppens sheltered at a safe house temporarily. On September 10, police and paramilitary officers raided the safe house and detained Ms. Coppens and another protester, Sergio Midence. They were both brought to a prison known as “El Chipote,” where Ms. Coppens was denied access to family or legal counsel.
On September 19, a court charged Ms. Coppens with kidnapping, terrorism, and illegal possession of firearms. Ms. Coppens has since been transferred to a women’s prison, La Esperanza prison, located outside of Managua.
On June 11, 2019, Ms. Coppens was released from prison, joining hundreds of others who were imprisoned for their participation in the protest movement. The charges and accusations against Ms. Coppens have not been annulled.