RACE & EQUALITY DENOUNCES THE PERSECUTION OF LGBTI HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN NICARAGUA AT THE HANDS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF DANIEL ORTEGA

The International Institute on Race, Equality, and Human Rights (Race & Equality) denounces the arbitrary detention of two LGBTI youth on 14 September of this year by the National Police, charged with participating in the marches held against the Ortega-Murillo regime in recent months, and additionally for having denounced on social media the human rights violations committed by the current government.

According to the information received by ADISNIC – an organization that works on behalf of the defense of, struggle for, and recognition of the human rights of the LGBTI population of Nicaragua – Osiris Castro, a lesbian student activist from the city of Matagalpa, was kidnapped from her home by paramilitaries for having participated in the marches and denounced the Ortega-Murillo regime on social media.  Likewise, Marcelo Ramírez, a young homosexual student member of M19 in the city of El Realejo, Chinandega, was kidnapped by the political secretary of the FSLN and paramilitaries for participating in the marches against the Ortega-Murillo regime and denouncing on social media the human rights violations committed by the current government.

As an organization that defends human rights, we forcefully reject the strong repression being inflicted upon the people of Nicaragua at this time by the National Police, paramilitary groups, Sandinista mobs, and repressive groups that daily threaten the safety, life, and human rights of Nicaraguan citizens.  We denounce the strategy of fear, harassment, intimidation, and threats being utilized against those who, given their legitimate right to social denunciation and protest, have decided to denounce [violations] and [as a result] are being illegally detained, kidnapped, and tortured today.

We urge the international community to not cease its calls for dialogue, peace, justice, and truth on behalf of those who have died as well as the [Nicaraguan] people who continue to resist even in the midst of fear.

Nicaragua is today experiencing a third phase of State repression, according to the statements made on multiple occasions by Paulo Abrão, Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), characterized by threats, intimidation, harassment, disappearances, and arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders, journalists or media outlets, and the general populace who have openly participated in mobilizations [and] rejected the dictatorial actions of the national government.  The last report submitted by the mission of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human rights, [whose members were] recently thrown out of the country, notes that according to estimates made by non-governmental organizations, as of 18 August 2018 at least 300 persons, including human rights defenders, had been charged with serious crimes, including terrorism [and] organized crime, for having participated in or supported the protests.

This ‘hunting’ of opposition demonstrators constitutes, as expressed in Report No. 5 of the Centro Nicaragüense de Derechos Humanos [Nicaraguan Human Rights Center] (CENIDH), one of the greatest persecutions against civil society in the history of the country, due to its violent nature and the absolute illegitimacy of its authors, who operate with the acquiescence of the State and do not comply with national and international human rights standards.

Despite people’s fear on the streets of Nicaragua, the populace is determined not to cease its denunciations, outcries, and mobilizations on behalf of peace and justice.  It is thus that, through social media, social human rights organizations, leaders, youth, students, [and] men and women of Nicaragua today invite the entire international community to join the digital mobilization #MarchoPorlaIndependencia [I march for independence], a space whose goal it is to continue denouncing the atrocities that the people are suffering at the hands of this dictatorial government, without risking their lives to go out and march.

Let’s join the march through this link: https://www.alianzacivicanicaragua.com/es/marchamos-por-la-independencia-por-la-libertad-la-democracia-y-la-justicia-de-nicaragua/

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