The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has called on the Nicaraguan dictatorship “to urgently report” where it is holding the bishop of Siuna, Isidoro del Carmen Mora Ortega.

“We urge the government of Nicaragua to urgently report the whereabouts of Bishop Mora, a victim of forced disappearance for 16 days. Concealing this information and isolating him from his family and legal representatives puts his life and personal safety at risk,” the U.N. office stated Jan. 5 on X.

The human rights organization also reposted its Dec. 28 statement condemning the forced detention of the prelate “and the new wave of arrests of religious.”

“In addition to violating their personal freedom, they would be violating the right to religious freedom, a pillar of any democratic state,” the OHCHR stated on X after Mora’s arrest, which took place on Dec. 20.

The 63-year-old prelate was arrested the day after he asked at a Mass for prayers for Bishop Rolando Álvarez, the bishop of Matagalpa who was abducted from his residence by the Sandinista regime in August 2022, kept under house arrest, and finally sentenced in February 2023 to 26 years and four months in prison on the charge of treason.

The day after Mora’s arrest, Martha Patricia Molina, Nicaraguan researcher and author of the study “Nicaragua: A Persecuted Church?”, told ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, that in addition to Mora, “seminarians Alester Saenz and Tony Palacio were also abducted.” Their whereabouts also remain unknown.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.