FIDH: Government of Nicaragua must guarantee conditions for National Dialogue and IACHR monitoring

Press release
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Paris, 17 May 2018 - The FIDH calls on the Government of Nicaragua to allow and guarantee conditions for the National Dialogue and for permanent monitoring by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the severe human rights situation in Nicaragua.

Yesterday marked the beginning of the National Dialogue under the mediation of the Nicaraguan Episcopal Conference with the participation of representatives of the business sector, universities, NGOs, the government, and President Daniel Ortega himself. The day ended with the strong voice of students demanding concrete solutions to Nicaragua’s current social crisis. It is important that every guarantee is given to the holding of this dialogue, which has become the only forum that has been able to foster trust and credibility amongst the Nicaraguan people.

‘We demand that the Government of Nicaragua order and guarantee the cessation of all forms of repression and violence perpetrated by the security forces and government-related groups against demonstrators all over the country as a first measure to guaranteeing that the National Dialogue can take place,’

declared Gloria Cano, FIDH Vice President and Executive Director of Aprodeh Peru.

In the past month, the severe repression by Nicaragua’s security forces of demonstrators has left more than 45 persons dead, as denounced by the Nicaraguan Human Rights Centre (CENIDH), the FIDH member organisation in Nicaragua, in its report of 8 May 2018. [1] The repression has also left more than 400 persons wounded in the first 5 days of the protest, as well as a massive detention of many young people, according to the Red Cross. [2]

One of the conditions to initiate the Dialogue, which was approved by the Government, was to accept the presence of the IACHR in Nicaragua. The IACHR Working Group’s visit begins today with the presence of three of its commissioners to observe the human rights situation on the ground.

‘We welcome that the Government has manifested its support to the IACHR during its visit and we hope that this support will last over time, so that the IACHR can steadily monitor the human rights situation in depth. We also hope that the access to the country can be extended to representatives of UN human rights protection bodies,’

declared Juan Francisco Soto, FIDH Vice President and Director of CALDH Guatemala.

Moreover, the FIDH demands that guarantees be given for the non-criminalisation of social protest, and that those responsible for human rights violations committed during these protests be investigated and tried with guarantees of independence, impartiality, due diligence and the authorisation of international observation. Furthermore, the work of defending human rights and freedom of the press must be guaranteed with no reprisal of any kind.

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