#SOSNICARAGUA : from repression to terror

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Paris – Managua, 22 February 2019. Ongoing protests in Nicaragua calling for reforms to the social security system have been met with intensifying governmental repression, with thousands of victims. The country has plunged into a serious crisis in which human rights are trampled upon. The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) demands the release of political prisoners and the reinstatement of legal status for human rights organizations, including its member organization CENIDH.

Since the protests began on 28 April 2018, grave human rights violations have been committed, with a current toll of 325 people murdered, 2,500 injured, and 762 political prisoners unjustly detained. Approximately eighty thousand people have been forcefully displaced to Costa Rica since the start of the crisis.

Last December, the Ortega-Murillo regime started intensifying its reign of fear and terror to silence the voices—particularly the media and NGOs—confronting and denouncing the government’s excesses. The country’s leading human rights institution, CENIDH, has been searched and forced to shut down, along with eight other organizations whose legal status has been revoked. In the same vein, at least 67 journalists have had to flee the country.

«Political prisoners, mainly students, are held in degrading and inhumane conditions. In addition to instances of torture and restricted access to medications, they are only allowed to go outside one hour per month, unlike other prisoners. Recently, three peasant leaders were sentenced in secret trials, with no proof, to 550 years in prison.
I have decided to not let up: in spite of everything, I will stay here in Nicaragua. I will not move.»

Vilma Núñez, President of CENIDH

Despite the public condemnation and other efforts of local organizations and the international community, Nicaragua is still experiencing the same levels of violence and terror. Nicaraguan civil society members speak up less and less for fear of reprisals, leading to less media coverage and international awareness.

At ten months and counting, this situation must end. Nicaragua is not alone. To contribute to international mobilization efforts, on Tuesday, 26 February, FIDH and its member organizations will gather in front of Nicaraguan embassies demanding that the rights violated be restored. FIDH demands that the Ortega-Murillo administration immediately free all political prisoners and reinstate the legal status of CENIDH and other organizations.


Press contacts:
Eva Canan (English, Spanish, French) +33 6 48 05 91 57 – ecanan@fidh.org
José Carlos Thissen (Spanish, French) + 51 95 41 31 650 – jcthissen@fidh.org

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