From the Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) we reject the imposition of the fourth consecutive term of Daniel Ortega and the second term of Rosario Murillo, which will be consummated in an official act announced for January 10th. We call on the international community to unite as one voice to send a message to fight the persistent impunity, protect the rule of law and democratic principles, and prevent the human rights crisis in Nicaragua from continuing to worsen.
Ortega and Murillo, through their absolute control of state institutions, the Police, the Army, and parastatal forces, have violated the fundamental rights of Nicaraguans since their return to power in 2007, and as of 2018, these violations acquired the nature of systematic ones.
The lethal repression of peaceful demonstrations, the destruction of the rule of law, the unwillingness of the State to cooperate with the United Nations and the Inter-American Human Rights System, the repressive escalation in the electoral context, the results of the controversial votes held on November 7, 2021, the stay in prison of more than 160 political prisoners under conditions that, particularly in the case of women, threaten their dignity, lives, personal integrity, and health; and the clear intention of Ortega and Murillo to remain in power merits a strong response from the international community.
OAS, the UN, and European Parliament reject the results of the election
In a resolution approved on November 12, 2021, the Organization of American States (OAS) assured that the votes that gave Ortega the victory “were not free, fair or transparent and do not have democratic legitimacy” and asked the Permanent Council to collectively evaluate Nicaragua, based on the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the OAS Charter.
In response to this, on November 19, 2021, the Government of Nicaragua made public its decision to denounce the OAS Charter, in order to ensure that the effects of said treaty cease for the Nicaraguan State. However, we recall that the State is not totally detached from its previously acquired obligations; on the contrary, the duty of Nicaragua to comply with the obligations derived from the human rights protection organs of the Inter-American System remains until they are fully complied with; as well as previously ratified inter-American human rights treaties, customary norms under general international law, and the obligations of the United Nations Charter.
Subsequently, on December 8, 2021, the OAS Permanent Council adopted a resolution in which it – once again – urged the Government to release all political prisoners and accept a high-level mission of goodwill with the objective of carrying out anticipated elections with international observers.
On the other hand, in an interactive dialogue held on December 14, 2021, the Deputy High Commissioner of the United Nations Office for Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif, expressed that the votes held “provided a valuable opportunity for Nicaragua take a step forward towards a peaceful and democratic solution to the crisis”; however, the deterioration of civil and political rights in the electoral context “led to the arbitrary exclusion of many Nicaraguans from participating in the elections.”
On this occasion, Al-Nashif called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to consider “all the measures at its disposal to promote accountability for the serious violations that have occurred since 2018” and human rights organizations we urge you to create an international investigation and accountability mechanism.
In addition to the aforementioned, the European Parliament approved on December 16th a resolution that condemns “the electoral farce orchestrated by the Ortega-Murillo regime” and rejects the legitimacy of the results of these votes and “the democratic legitimacy of any institutional authority that arises from these rigged elections”. MEPs stressed the importance of the return of international human rights organizations “without conditions sine qua non for any dialogue with the Nicaraguan regime.”
From Race and Equality, we condemn the perpetrate take of power of the Government of Ortega y Murillo, as the result of repression and the systematic violation of the rights of the Nicaraguan population.
We welcome the efforts made by multilateral organizations and international human rights organizations to monitor, document, and report the human rights violations that have occurred to date in Nicaragua. We urge you to promptly apply all available mechanisms to contribute to the uprising of the Police State and the restoration of democracy in the country, which necessarily requires creating the conditions to hold free, fair, and transparent elections.
Likewise, we call on the international community and the OAS Member States to take measures to urge the Nicaraguan State to fully comply with the notion of collective guarantees that underlies the Inter-American Human Rights System of their obligations in the matter of human rights.
We reiterate the urgent need to establish an independent investigation and accountability mechanism. Once again, we call on the United Nations Human Rights Council so that, in its next session in March 2022, it establishes this mechanism to investigate the reported abuses, preserve the evidence, identify the perpetrators, and lay the foundations for the justice process that Nicaragua needs to get out of this crisis.
We do not stop demanding from the State of Nicaragua the immediate and unconditional release of all persons deprived of liberty for political reasons.
We remind the Nicaraguan authorities that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered the immediate release of political prisoners, an end to acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in detention centers, and immediate access to independent medical personnel to know the state of physical and mental health of people deprived of liberty.