Washington, DC. January 28, 2019. Representatives of Nicaraguan civil society organizations met with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, Mr. Clement Nyaletsossy Voule, to apprise him of the persecution of organizations and their leaders by the government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo that has been ongoing since April 18 in the country.
The representatives of the organizations detailed to the Rapporteur the arbitrary nature of the cancelation of the legal status of nearly a dozen organizations with extensive experience in human rights defense and democracy, as well as the threats, assaults, and criminalization of human rights defense work faced by civil society leaders and their teams.
During the meeting, the Nicaraguan delegation asked the Rapporteur to speak to the Nicaraguan State about the arbitrary cancelation of the organizations’ legal status. In addition, they detailed the need to demand that the State stop persecuting defenders, issue a public declaration condemning violations of the right to association, publicly recognize the work of defenders, and urge the State to permit the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council access to the country.
To that end, Rapporteur Nyaletsossy confirmed that he is monitoring the situation in the country [and] deems it very important to have the opportunity for spaces for exchange among different actors of civil society. Likewise, he expressed an understanding of the suffering being generated by the situation in Nicaragua.
During the meeting, the representative of the United Nations noted that despite having made a request to the current government to visit the country, he had yet to receive an answer from the heads of State.
Lastly, the Rapporteur said he would undertake actions within the framework of the mandate of the Rapporteurship he heads.