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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

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…
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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

“Baby S” Runs Risk of Being Stateless

A child born to Bulgarian and British mothers has been denied Bulgarian citizenship and is now at risk of being stateless. “Baby S” was born in December 2019 in Spain and although the baby’s birth certificate was issued by Spain with both mothers…
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Belgium’s justice system took a long overdue step on January 5 by dismissing terrorism charges against Fayçal Cheffou, a freelance journalist and activist mistaken for a prime suspect in the deadly 2016 Brussels bombings. In addition to being falsely…
Fayçal Cheffou, un journaliste qui a été confondu à tort avec l’« homme au chapeau », l’un des principaux suspects des attentats meurtriers perpétrés à Bruxelles le 22 mars 2016. 
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

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
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
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, celebrations for the 60th anniversary of independence on June 30 were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of the usual festivities, the government called for a day of “reflection.” The Belgian king,…
Demonstrators stand on the statue of Leopold II as one of them holds a national flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo during a protest for the end of racial injustice in Brussels, Belgium, June 7, 2020.
News

Cases Unreported Amid Government Mismanagement

(Washington, DC)– Nicaraguan authorities have fired at least 10 health workers in apparent retaliation for voicing concern about the Daniel Ortega government’s management of the Covid-19 health crisis, Human Rights Watch said today. The Ortega…
 An ambulance enters the Aleman-Nicaraguense Hospital, which cares for people infected with Covid-19, as relatives of patients wait in line in Managua, Nicaragua, on June 1, 2020.
News

Peace Prize Provides Impetus for Banning Killer Robots

Thousands of children across Belgium studied five shortlisted Peace Prize nominees over the past school year and voted for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots to win the award, given out every three years by the city of Ypres. The prize shows how…
Growing opposition to fully autonomous weapons from various quarters shows how the public conscience supports banning weapons systems that lack meaningful human control.
News

Calls for Mass Gatherings; No Quarantine or Travel Restrictions

  (Washington, DC) – Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s administration has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with tactics that blatantly contradict global health experts’ advice and put people’s health and lives at risk, Human Rights Watch…
A woman holds a sign that reads "Love in Times of Covid-19" during a government-sponsored march in Managua, Nicaragua, on March 14, 2020.
News
For more than two years, top members of Nicaragua’s Ortega administration, who bear responsibility for egregious abuses committed during the 2018 government crackdown, have enjoyed impunity. New US sanctions offer hope for victims who are waiting…
Riot police officers stand in front of a graffiti that reads "Justice" during a protest against Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega's government in Managua, Nicaragua May 28, 2018.
News

Award Highlights Risks to Journalists Amid Free Speech Crackdown

“There’s no time for fear when there’s information to get out,” Lucía Pineda told me, reflecting on her six-month imprisonment in Nicaragua and her current life as a journalist in exile. On November 21, she and her co-worker Miguel Mora became the…
Journalists Lucia Pineda and Miguel Mora celebrate their release after spending almost six months in jail in Managua on June 11, 2019.
News

Mothers on Strike to Protest Their Children’s Detention

(Washington, DC) – The Ortega government’s use of repressive tactics to prevent hunger strikes should prompt increased international efforts to demand accountability for abuses in Nicaragua, Human Rights Watch said today. On November 14…
Martha Lorena Alvarado, mother of jailed anti-government demonstrator Melkissedex Antonio Lopez, holds a sign with an image of her son while participating in the hunger strike at the San Miguel Arcangel Church in Masaya, Nicaragua, on Thursday, November 1