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Hazardous Detention Conditions, No Due Process, Arbitrary Prosecutions

(Washington, DC) – New evidence indicates that dozens of critics the Nicaraguan government arbitrarily detained for months, most of them accused of “treason,” are being held incommunicado and are often subjected to repeated interrogations and abusive…
Lesbia Alfaro, mother of student leader Lester Alemán, who went into exile after participating in protests against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's government in 2018, holds a portrait of her son during an interview with AFP in Managua, on September 14, 2021.
News

Congress Ousts Dozens of Judges

(Washington DC) – Two laws passed by El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly on August 31, 2021, threaten judicial independence by allowing authorities to dismiss all judges and prosecutors who are 60 years old or older, Human Rights Watch said today.…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele delivers his annual address to the nation before Congress, in San Salvador, El Salvador, Tuesday, June 1.
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Concerted, Global Pressure Needed to Stem Regime Abuses

On August 2, the European Union (EU) imposed targeted sanctions on eight Nicaraguans accused of “serious human rights violations” and undermining democracy, including Vice President Rosario Murillo. The sanctions include freezing assets, forbidding…
Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, lead a rally in Managua, Nicaragua on September 5, 2018.
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A wave of arrests of President Daniel Ortega’s critics threatens Nicaragua’s democracy

The warning came by radio. On June 11, the host of a Nicaraguan radio show that receives substantial government funding said Elton Ortega, a lawyer who had been representing two of Nicaragua’s jailed presidential candidates, was on a list of people…
In this Sept. 5, 2018 file photo, Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, lead a rally in Managua, Nicaragua.
Report
Summary As Nicaragua prepares for presidential elections scheduled for November 7, 2021, the administration of President Daniel Ortega has launched a campaign of arbitrary detention and harassment of government critics, including human rights…
News

United Nations Should Escalate Pressure to Protect Rights, Ensure Free Elections

(Washington, DC) – The Ortega government’s intensifying campaign of violence and repression against the opposition and civil society in Nicaragua requires escalating involvement by the United Nations to address the situation, Human Rights Watch said…
National police officers beat opposition member Valeska Valle and other demonstrators taking part in a "National sit-in" protest against President Daniel Ortega's government in Managua on March 30, 2019.
News
June 10, 2021   H.E. Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón President of the Government of Spain La Moncloa Aven Madrid, 28071 Spain   Dear President Sánchez, I am writing on behalf of Human Rights Watch in advance of…
News
Nobody should be fooled by bromides like the one that Salvadoran Vice President Félix Ulloa offered this week on television. Ulloa said the government was trying to “promote” free speech in a context of “an avalanche of negative campaigns aimed…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks to his supporters in San Salvador, El Salvador, on February 20, 2020.
News

Human Rights Council - Item 2 Interactive Dialogue on Nicaragua

The human rights situation in Nicaragua remains critical. In 2020, the government intensified its repression against civil society organizations and independent journalists. Human rights defenders and other critics continue to be targets of death…
An anti-government protester is dragged away and arrested by police as security forces disrupt an opposition march coined "United for Freedom" in Managua, Nicaragua, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018.
News

Strengthen Protections, End Asylum Pact with US

Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele agreed on December 15 to implement an Asylum Cooperative Agreement with the US government. It allows US immigration authorities to transfer non-Salvadoran asylum seekers to El Salvador, instead of allowing them to…
A transgender woman shows a photograph of Camila Díaz, whom she met while migrating to the US, where they both turned themselves in to immigration authorities. Both women were eventually deported.
News

Government Could Bar Opponents from Running for Office

(Washington, DC) – The Nicaraguan Congress passed a law proposed by President Daniel Ortega on December 21, 2020 that appears designed to bar opposition candidates from participating in the 2021 presidential elections, Human Rights Watch said…
Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega greets soldiers during the oath of the Commander in Chief of the Nicaraguan army General Julio Cesar, at the Revolution square in Managua, Nicaragua February 21, 2020.
News
When Pricila, a 32-year-old trans woman, fled El Salvador in February 2019, she had good reason to fear for her life. Police had beaten and sexually assaulted her, telling her they would make her a man. Gang members attempted to forcibly recruit her.…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
News

OAS Should Object to Bills that Suppress Dissent, Press Freedom

(Washington, DC, October 8, 2020) – Member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) should urgently raise concerns about Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s efforts to tighten his government’s grip on independent journalists and human…
Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega speaks next to first lady and Vice President Rosario Murillo during the inauguration ceremony for a highway overpass in Managua, Nicaragua, Thursday, March 21, 2019.
News

Discrimination Follows them from Home to the US Border

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, sometimes called the Northern Triangle, often face violence and discrimination from their families, gangs, and even the police. When they try to seek asylum…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
Report
Summary Camila Díaz Córdova, a 29-year-old transgender woman, tried for years to escape the violence that had characterized her life in El Salvador. She made her way to the United States in 2017 to seek asylum, but after four months in immigration…
News

Further Efforts Needed to Prevent, Prosecute Hate Crimes

(Washington, DC) – A judge in San Salvador has found three police officers guilty of the January 2019 killing of Camila Díaz Córdova, a transgender woman, and sentenced each to 20 years in prison, Human Rights Watch said today. The court’s July 28,…
A transgender woman shows a photograph of Camila Díaz, whom she met while migrating to the US, where they both turned themselves in to immigration authorities. Both women were eventually deported.
News
Sustained international pressure has played an essential role in the past in curbing serious and widespread human rights abuses by the government of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. Recent developments in Geneva indicate that the international community is…
Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega greets soldiers during the oath of the Commander in Chief of the Nicaraguan army General Julio Cesar, at the Revolution square in Managua, Nicaragua February 21, 2020.
News
The Trump administration has proposed a new federal regulation that would create insurmountable barriers to the vast majority of asylum claims, including by gutting the definition of refugee to the point where lesbian, gay, bisexual and…
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