We welcome the report of the Group of Human Rights Experts on Nicaragua, which highlights the severity of the human rights crisis in Nicaragua and reaffirms the need for ongoing robust international scrutiny.
The report found reasonable grounds to conclude that Nicaragua authorities have committed widespread human rights violations that amount to crimes against humanity, including murder, imprisonment, torture, including sexual violence, deportation, and politically motivated persecution. It also found that abuses are the “product of the deliberate dismantling of democratic institutions and destruction of civic and democratic space.”
High level authorities were accused of having used the judicial and electoral branches of power to “implement a legal framework aimed at repressing the exercise of fundamental freedoms” aiming at eliminating “any opposition in the country.”
These findings are consistent with reporting by Human Rights Watch and other groups.
In a situation that continues to worsen, international attention is direly needed. In February, the government stripped 317 critics of their nationality and confiscated their assets. 37 people remained arbitrarily detained.
Since the government expelled staff members of the IACHR and OHCHR in late 2018, no international human rights monitor has been allowed in to access the country. In light of the steadily worsening situation in the country and faced with the government’s repeated refusal to cooperate with international human rights bodies, we urge the Council to renew the mandates of the Group of Experts and OHCHR for two years to enable them to effectively continue monitoring and documenting Nicaraguan government abuses, and to provide recommendations for accountability and justice. Both mandates should be sufficiently resourced to fulfill their critical work.