OHCHR – Press briefing notes on Nicaragua

Governance/Human Rights – Nicaragua

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OHCHR – Press briefing notes on Nicaragua, Mali and Kashmir
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
(1) Nicaragua
Tomorrow, Wednesday, will mark three months since demonstrations began in Nicaragua, initially against planned pension reforms but which have evolved into protests against President Daniel Ortega’s government.

The violence that has to date left an estimated 280 people dead and 1830 injured has been overwhelmingly perpetrated by the State and by pro-government armed elements. Those killed include at least 19 police officers.

Police, armed elements and other violent groups have carried out so-called “clean-up operations” in different parts of the country, forcibly removing barricades erected by demonstrators and local communities. At least 12 people were killed over the weekend, including two when shots were fired at the Divina Misericordia Church in Managua where student demonstrators had sought refuge after the university premises they had been occupying came under attack.

The violence is all more horrific as armed elements loyal to the government are operating with the active or tacit support of and in coordination with the police and other state authorities. UN Human Rights Office staff on the ground report that a wide range of human rights violations are being committed, including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detentions, and denying people the right to freedom of expression. There has been incitement to hatred and smear campaigns, including against human rights defenders. The backdrop for all these violations is the absence of rule of law and due process…

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OAS Resolution “The Situation in Nicaragua”
Organization of American States
July 18, 2018
CP/RES. 1108 (2172/18)
THE SITUATION IN NICARAGUA
(Adopted by the Permanent Council at its special meeting, held on July 18, 2018)

THE PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES,
BEARING IN MIND the principles enshrined in the Charter of the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, of which Nicaragua is a State party;

REAFFIRMING declaration AG/DEC. 97 (XLIII-O/18), adopted by the OAS General Assembly on June 5, 2018;

TAKING NOTE of the Central American Integration System’s (SICA) “Special Declaration on Nicaragua” of 30 June, 2018; and

NOTING with deep concern the situation confirmed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in the final report on its visit to Nicaragua, from May 17 to 21, 2018, titled “Gross Human Rights Violations in the Context of Social Protests in Nicaragua” and presented to the Permanent Council on June 22 and July 11, 2018,

RESOLVES:
[1] To reiterate its vigorous condemnation of and grave concern over all acts of violence, repression, and human rights violations and abuses committed by police, parapolice groups, and others against the people of Nicaragua, as documented by the IACHR; to encourage that steps be taken to identify the individuals responsible, through the corresponding legal procedures; and to demand that parapolice groups be disbanded.

[2] To also condemn attacks on the clergy, the harassment of Roman Catholic bishops engaged in the National Dialogue process, and the acts of violence at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN), the headquarters of CARITAS, and against other peaceful protesters.

[3] To urge the Government of Nicaragua and all the parties to participate actively and in good faith in the National Dialogue as a mechanism to generate peaceful and sustainable solutions to the situation unfolding in Nicaragua, and for the strengthening of democracy in that country.

[4] To call on the Government of Nicaragua to consider all options to achieve this objective, to collaborate in the effective pursuit of efforts to strengthen democratic institutions in Nicaragua through the implementation of the recommendations of the OAS Electoral Observation Mission, and to support an electoral calendar jointly agreed to in the context of the National Dialogue process.

[5] To support the recently established Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) to investigate the acts of violence which have been taking place in the country, as documented by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), as well as the Special Follow-up Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI) and the initiative to strengthen democratic institutions advanced by the OAS General Secretariat, and to urge the Government of Nicaragua to provide the conditions necessary to allow these groups to fulfill their duties.

[6] To reiterate the willingness of the Permanent Council to collaborate and consider all possible measures and mechanisms it deems appropriate to find a peaceful solution to the situation faced by Nicaragua, as provided for by the Organization’s regulations.

[7] To invite the IACHR to keep the Permanent Council informed as to the functioning of the mechanisms specifically established by the IACHR to monitor the human rights situation in Nicaragua and the follow-up of the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the IACHR.

[8] To request the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the OAS Department for Electoral Cooperation and Observation (DECO), the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the OAS Secretary General and the European Union to support the work of the Verification and Security Commission.