FIDH: The nicaraguan government must cease repression of social protests immediately

Press release
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Paris, 24 May 2017. The FIDH urges the Nicaraguan Government to guarantee the immediate cessation of protest repression, to comply with the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), and to demonstrate its commitment to encouraging the renewal of the National Dialogue.

In León Department, the young Carlos Manuel Solís was reported to have died from a shot in the head, and around 60 persons were injured, four seriously, as a result of an attack carried out on 23 May by national police officers dressed as civilians and government shock troops against the demonstrators, who were blocking the road at the Telica, León junction. These troops destroyed the medical post installed by students of León University and kidnapped 17 students. Armed men took them in two lorries to the departmental premises of the Sandinista National Liberation Front in León; they were subsequently released after negotiations with a priest and the students’ family and friends.

“The Nicaraguan Government must comply with the recommendations of the IACHR, respect the exercise of the right to public demonstration and guarantee the immediate end to the repression of social protest. It is not by seeking to silence the civilian population that it will resolve the political and social crisis that the country is going through”,

said Gloria Cano, FIDH Vice President.

According to the preliminary observations of the IACHR, after its visit to Nicaragua between 19 April and 21 May 2018, at least 76 people were recorded dead, 868 people injured, mostly in connection with protest movements, and 438 people detained, including students, civilians, human rights defenders and journalists.

Also, on 23 May, since the National Dialogue commenced the week before could not reach a consensus, the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua, as the mediating body, temporarily suspended the process.

“We salute the efforts made by the bishops of the Episcopal Conference to find a way out of Nicaragua’s present serious situation. We urge the Nicaraguan Government to demonstrate willingness to reach a solution that is acceptable to the participating parties and to move forward with the agenda established for the Dialogue”,

stated Juan Francisco Soto, FIDH Vice President.

In accordance with the recommendations of the IACHR, FIDH also urges the Government to authorise a visit to Nicaragua by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to launch an independent, impartial investigations into the serious infringements of human rights committed in the context of the repression, with the support of international human rights organisations, and to establish all necessary guarantees so that human rights defenders may perform their work in the country without risk to their lives and safety.

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