Nicaragua: Destruction of the CENIDH headquarters

Urgent Appeal
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NIC 002 / 1220 / OBS 140.1
Attack /
Violation of freedom of association
4 February 2021
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint FIDH and World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) programme, requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Nicaragua.

New information:
The Observatory is deeply concerned about information received from the Nicaraguan Centre for Human Rights (CENIDH), a member organisation of FIDH and OMCT, about the destruction of its headquarters and the expropriation of other premises belonging to the association.

On 29 January 2021, the CENIDH headquarters in Managua, which has been arbitrarily closed and seized by the Nicaraguan authorities since December 2018, was destroyed by order of the Nicaraguan government and its offices in Juigalpa were used to open a health post.

The Observatory strongly condemns the destruction and use of CENIDH facilities, and the constant harassment of human rights organisations and their members in Nicaragua.

The Observatory recalls that on 14 December 2018, the police violently raided CENIDH facilities, Confidencial newspaper offices, the Segovias Leadership Institute (ILS), the POPOL NA Foundation, the Río Foundation, the Institute for the Development of Democracy (IPADE) and the Center for Information and Health Advisory Services (CISAS).

In addition, the Observatory recalls that the National Assembly cancelled the legal status of these 6 organisations, as well as the Institute for Strategic Studies and Public Policies (IEEPP), the Communication Research Center (CINCO) and Hagamos Democracia, in December 2018.

Two years later, the nine organisations have still not recovered their legal status or seized assets, and their members continue to be victims of attacks and harassment. On 14 December 2020, for example, the police violently dispersed journalists and members of CENIDH, who had gathered in front of the Confidencial newspaper headquarters to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the raid, closure and seizure of the premises of human rights organisations and media outlets.

The Observatory urges the Nicaraguan authorities to put an end to the harassment of all human rights defenders and organisations in the country and to guarantee the conditions for them to carry out their activities unhindered. Likewise, the Observatory calls on the Nicaraguan authorities to reassign legal status to the nine aforementioned human rights organisations.

Actions required:

Please write to the authorities of Nicaragua, urging them to:
i. Guarantee the security and physical and psychological integrity of the members of CENIDH and of all human rights defenders in Nicaragua;
ii. Put an end to all types of attacks, acts of harassment, threats and intimidation against the members of CENIDH and against all human rights defenders in Nicaragua;
iii. Reassign legal status to the nine aforementioned human rights organisations.

Daniel Ortega Saavedra President of the Republic of Nicaragua Email:
· Mr Denis Moncada Colindres, Chancellor of the Republic of Nicaragua. Email:
· Mr Filiberto Jacinto Rodríguez López, President of the Commission for Peace, Defence, Governance and Human Rights of the National Assembly of Nicaragua. Email:
· Mr Edwin Illescas A., Legislative Secretary of the Commission for Peace, Defense, Governance and Human Rights of the National Assembly of Nicaragua, Email: edwini@as Defensa@as
· Jaime Hermida Castillo Ambassador of Nicaragua to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva. Email:;
· Mauricio Lautaro Sandino Montes, Ambassador of Nicaragua in Brussels. Email:,
Please also write to diplomatic representations of Nicaragua in your respective countries.

Paris-Geneva, 4 February 2021

Please inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) is a programme created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) which aims to intervene to prevent or remedy concrete situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, contact the hotline:
· Tel. FIDH: + 33 1 43 55 25 18
· Tel. OMCT: + 41 22 809 49 39

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