Nicaraguan authorities’ repression of activists, human rights defenders, and journalists intensifies

Nicaraguan authorities’ repression of activists, human rights defenders, and journalists intensifies

English, Nicaragua
September 18th, 2020. The signatories of this letter denounce the repression of activists and those perceived as opponents of the Nicaraguan government at the hands of state agents during the celebration of Nicaragua’s Independence Day. Nicaraguan organizations recorded human rights violations carried out with a clear intent to intimidate those who oppose the current government’s policies. During the month of September, civil society figures, journalists, former political prisoners, and their families have all been targeted with arrests, criminalization, excessive force, raids of their homes, police harassment, death threats, vandalism, public slander, and online smear campaigns. Furthermore, women who work to defend human rights in Nicaragua are facing a dangerously violent situation. According to the data maintained by the Mesoamerican Initiative for Women Human Rights Defenders (IM-Defensoras), 165 aggressions against female…
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High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet urges the Government of Nicaragua to release 94 political prisoners

High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet urges the Government of Nicaragua to release 94 political prisoners

English, Nicaragua, UN
Geneva, September 16, 2020. In her oral update on the situation in Nicaragua before the United Nations Human Rights Council last Monday, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged the Government of Nicaragua to release “all those arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in the context of protests or for expressing opinions critical of the Government.” She argued that freeing these political prisoners “would be a significant step towards restoring rights and reducing existing polarization.” According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Nicaraguan civil society organizations report that 90 men and 4 women who are perceived as opponents of the Government have been arbitrarily deprived of their liberty and accused of common crimes as pretexts for their detention. This was the second oral update…
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The Nicaraguan government blocks the return of hundreds of citizens to the country

The Nicaraguan government blocks the return of hundreds of citizens to the country

English, Nicaragua
Washington, D.C., July 31, 2020. Hundreds of Nicaraguans have been stranded at the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua for more than ten days, blocked from re-entering their home country by Nicaraguan authorities’ demand that they undergo a COVID-19 test. The migrants are unable to pay the cost of the test. Human rights organizations report that approximately 300 people are living outdoors with no access to food and poor hygiene. The migrants have crossed into Nicaraguan territory and cannot turn back to Costa Rica, nor can they pass through Nicaraguan border control until they provide a negative test. Among the group are children, elderly adults, and pregnant women, all of whom are now exposed to COVID-19 in conditions where basic sanitation and hygiene measures are impossible. Costa Rican authorities announced…
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UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention adopted two opinions on Nicaraguan cases

UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention adopted two opinions on Nicaraguan cases

English, Nicaragua, UN
Washington D.C., July 20th. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention released two opinions today, one regarding the detention of 16 Nicaraguan activists in November 2019 after they brought water and medicine to a group of mothers of political prisoners who were on hunger strike, and the other regarding the arrest of journalists Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda in December 2018. In both cases, the opinions conclude that the arrests were arbitrary and consider that the proper remedy from the Government would include ensuring them “full freedom and granting them the effective right to obtain compensation and other types of reparation.” Case of 16 activists The opinion on the case of the 16 activists, approved on May 1, 2020, was requested by the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH),…
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High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet: “the health crisis caused by COVID-19 has led to greater restrictions on civic and democratic space” in Nicaragua

High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet: “the health crisis caused by COVID-19 has led to greater restrictions on civic and democratic space” in Nicaragua

English, Nicaragua, UN
Geneva, July 2nd, 2020. The health crisis caused by COVID-19 has led to greater restrictions on civic and democratic space in Nicaragua, according to an oral update given by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet during the 44th period of sessions of the Human Rights Council. “The official discourse stigmatizes people who criticize the State response or disseminate information contradicting official sources (...) There is also little transparency and lack of clarity in public information on cases. Although the Government has indicated that it has been working to strengthen public health and community health, visiting house to house to detect cases, some government measures do not comply with the recommendations of the WHO, PAHO and the Nicaraguan medical community, especially regarding physical distancing”, said the High Commissioner.…
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