Nicaragua: EU extends the list of individuals under sanctions for human rights violations


On 2 August 2021, the Council of the EU added 8 public officials to the list of persons under restrictive measures for their involvement in human rights violations and acts undermining democracy and the rule of law in Nicaragua, including Vice-President Rosario Murillo. The decision comes three months ahead of the upcoming presidential election, as Nicaraguan authorities have increased their attacks against opposition parties and presidential candidates.

Targetted individuals now face travel bans and asset freezes. Some of them had been identified in FIDH and CENIDH’s latest joint report as having played key roles in the drastic deterioration of the human rights situation in the country.

Since the violent repression of the 2018 protests, numerous human rights violations have continued to be reported in the country. Recent arbitrary arrests and detentions of journalists and presidential candidates are the latest examples of the grim pattern of attacks against civil society followed by the Nicaraguan government. For the last three years, human rights defenders have been on the front line as the Ortega regime has introduced increasingly repressive legislation aimed at curtailing the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association and assembly.

The electoral reform adopted last May increased concerns about the November 7th presidential elections. It fell short of OAS (Organisation of American States) recommendations, and in fact introduced further measures aimed at de facto blocking opposition candidates from participating in the elections.

FIDH has long been advocating for the international community to take strong and coordinated actions for the respect and protection of human rights in Nicaragua, including through the adoption of additional sanction listings.

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