June 2018 – The Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) supported a delegation of Nicaraguan human rights activists to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland June 18-29 in order to raise awareness about the human rights situation in Nicaragua before civil society representatives, governmental missions before the UN, the UN System of Human Rights and the international community at large. Among them, Alexandra Salazar of the Network of Social Movements and Civil Society Organizations of Nicaragua, Oswaldo Montoya of the MenEngage Alliance, Ana Quirós of the Center for Health Information and Advisory Services (CISAS), and Anibal Toruño of Radio Darío.
Over the course of the two-week trip, the Nicaraguan activists met with important international actors, which included staff of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), members of international civil society, and representatives of the Permanent Missions of member countries – many from the Latin-American region – to present their stories and offer insight on the response needed to the current political crisis, including the repressions face and the increase of attacks against civil society representatives, students, the elderly, and other peaceful protestors. Their testimonies also sought to encourage the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to issue out a communication requesting that the Nicaraguan government put a stop to the violence and repression.
The activists participated in two press conferences before national and international media, which was broadcasted live through our social platforms. During the debates, the activists denounced the repression and violations of fundamental human rights at the hands of “paramilitary”, “Sandinista mobs”, and “Parapolice” groups.
Groups can be seen here: — https://goo.gl/NdRgtN
In addition, the delegation participated in the plenary of the 38thperiod of the Human Rights Council (HRC), and in two parallel events. The first one, “Human Rights in Nicaragua: State violence and repression”, organized by the International Human Rights Network and the MenEngage Alliance, featured close to fifty participants, including Commissioner Joel Hernandez of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The event discussed the causes of the civil unrest and the presentation of a report by Nicaragua’s Permanent Commission on Human Rights’ (CPDH). The event concluded by urging the international community to denounce the situation in Nicaragua and to pressure the national government to put an end to the repression.
The event was broadcasted live through our social channels. You can see a replay here (in Spanish) — https://goo.gl/NdRgtN
The second event was organized by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, to present the report: Grave violations of human rights in the context of social protests in Nicaragua. It was also broadcasted in our social platforms and can be seen here: https://goo.gl/mmuPQZ
Finally, the Nicaraguan activists urged the international community to continue pressuring the Nicaraguan government to accept a visit of the UN Office of the High Commissioner to the country (that was later accepted); to publicly denounce government actions against its own citizens; and to request that the UN and its member states form an Independent Investigation Commission to review and sanction all crimes committed. (at the time of drafting this release there were more than 200 registered deaths associated with the conflict.)