Resolution on the human rights crisis in Nicaragua

Press release

The 40th Congress of FIDH considering that:

Since April 2018 the human rights crisis in Nicaragua has deepened, leaving at least 327 murderers unpunished, more than 70 thousand exiles, hundreds of people wounded, tortured and kidnapped, victims of political imprisonment, as well as the persistent violation of public freedoms and the establishment of a state of terror characterised by the use of excessive police and parapolice forces.

Under its authoritarian policy, the regime of President Daniel Ortega and his wife Yolanda Murillo, Vice-President of Nicaragua, expelled from the country missions from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) who were monitoring “in loco” the country’s severe socio-political and human rights crisis; as well as the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), who observed and have blamed the State for committing crimes against humanity.

The pattern of governmental violence includes the persecution, bullying, harassment and stigmatisation of human rights defenders who have had their right to defend rights restricted. FIDH’s member organisation, the Nicaraguan Centre for Human Rights (CENIDH) has been one of the targets of the attacks. It has been arbitrarily stripped of its legal capacity, had its property usurped and its members harassed.

On 12 July 2019 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights requested that the government of Nicaragua, immediately adopt the measures necessary to protect members of CENIDH and the Permanent Commission on Human Rights (CPDH), recognising the serious risk faced by human rights defenders in Nicaragua.

The 40th Congress of FIDH therefore:

- Condemns the brutal repression and violation of the rule of law and the Nicaraguan population’s human rights by the Ortega-Murillo regime.

- Calls on the Nicaraguan government to immediately stop the harassment of humans rights organisations and returns to CENIDH its legal status and property, and does the same for the other eight non-governmental organisations from whom it seized property.

- Demands that OHCHR and IAHCR maintain surveillance of the Ortega-Murillo regime and monitor the persistent repression that has been unleashed in Nicaragua.

- Demands that the international community maintains and accelerates pressure on the regime in Nicaragua and takes the necessary measures to stop the serious and persistent human rights violations, and judges and punishes those responsible including through the use of individual sanctions as certain states have been doing.

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