Nicaragua releases 50 opposition prisoners amid negotiations

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Nicaragua's government says it has released 50 opposition prisoners and placed them under a form of house arrest.

The Interior Department said Friday the prisoners face charges of crimes against "the common security" or "public peace."

A day prior, the government and Civic Alliance agreed to resume political talks which had been suspended after the opposition coalition demanded the immediate and definitive release of about 770 people considered political prisoners.

According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, at least 325 people were killed last year amid a crackdown on protests demanding President Daniel Ortega leave office.

The government has since largely banned opposition demonstrations and shuttered some independent media outlets and NGOs. It has also refused to concede early elections, a key opposition demand.