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Nicaragua

    October 21, 2019
    Photo credit: Voice of America https://www.voanoticias.com/a/nicaragua-violencia-protestas-por-reformas-al-seguro-social/4357428.htmlDOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 82/19 HERE

    After one year and a half since the beginning of the crisis in Nicaragua, at least 130 people continue detained. Among them is Maria Guadalupe Ruiz Briceño (22), a student imprisoned after she participated in a July 2019 protest. 

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    October 18, 2019

    The Nicaraguan government must end the repressive strategy it has pursued since 18 April 2018 and which currently includes implementing measures to close down, subdue or silence civil society organizations and the independent media, said Amnesty International today as it launched its campaign "What we left behind: fleeing repression in Nicaragua".

    “The international community must be clear that the human rights crisis in Nicaragua since April 2018, caused by the government of Daniel Ortega, is ongoing and that the authorities have shown no desire to ensure the population can exercise their rights. As a result of this strategy of repression, tens of thousands of people are living in exile, including human rights defenders and journalists,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    July 18, 2019

    In the early hours of 17 July, Bryan Murillo López died as a result of shots fired by members of the Nicaraguan National Police. Two of his relatives – his brother, Kener Murillo López, and his brother-in-law, Javier Cortez – also sustained serious injuries.

    According to a police statement, the officers reportedly fired in self-defence. However, information analysed to date suggests that the police were carrying out an unlawful operation during which they used military-grade weapons. According to information received by Amnesty International, the victims, who were unarmed at the time of the shooting, belong to a family that has openly opposed the government of Daniel Ortega in the context of continuing political violence against those who disagree with the government.

    May 02, 2019

    Ahead of World Press Freedom Day and more than a year since the Nicaraguan government launched its strategy of repression against the protests that began on 18 April 2018, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:

    “It is deplorable that the Nicaraguan authorities continue to repress the press and violate its right to inform. In recent years, courageous journalists and media workers have faced attacks while covering protests and have been harassed and persecuted for doing their job and exercising their right to freedom of expression. Some, such as Lucía Pineda and Miguel Mora of the independent 100% Noticias channel, have been detained and are still in prison. More than 70 journalists and media workers have been forced to leave the country.”

    December 21, 2018

    In response to the publication of the “Report on the Acts of Violence Occurred Between April 18 and May 30, 2018 in Nicaragua," by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI-Nicaragua) today, Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:

    “The damning report by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts reveals that the government of President Daniel Ortega has committed crimes against humanity in the context of the crisis that began last April. This report constitutes a detailed investigation of the crimes under international law and human rights violations carried out by state agents under the command of President Ortega, using public institutions and pro-government armed groups to establish a repressive state apparatus, with the intention to kill and persecute those who opposed their policies.”

    December 13, 2018

    In response to the decree by Nicaragua’s National Assembly cancelling the legal registration of the Nicaraguan Centre for Human Rights (CENIDH) today, Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:

    “Attacking the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH) and cancelling its legal registration, is another repressive maneuver by President Daniel Ortega to try to cover up the serious human rights violations that his government has committed. Those who denounce the atrocities committed by his government are being punished in Nicaragua. President Ortega is wrong if he believes he will be able to evade justice by trying to silence CENIDH.”

    “It’s extremely alarming that organizations with the trajectory and legitimacy of CENIDH are being persecuted. By cancelling their registration, the government leaves the people of Nicaragua defenseless, preventing organizations from representing victims or fighting for their demands for justice and accountability. Today is a very sad day for the defence of human rights in the region.”

    More information:

    October 18, 2018

    From the beginning of June, the government of President Daniel Ortega intensified its strategy for repression in a so-called “clean-up” operation, targeting protesters with arbitrary arrests, torture, and the widespread and indiscriminate use of lethal force by police and heavily armed pro-government groups, said Amnesty International today in a new report.

    Released six months after a state crackdown began in response to public protests over social security reforms, Instilling terror: From lethal force to persecution in Nicaragua documents possible grave human rights violations and crimes under international law that the Nicaraguan authorities committed between 30 May and 18 September.

    “Not only did President Ortega deploy police to arbitrarily arrest and torture demonstrators, he also used heavily armed pro-government groups to kill, wound and intimidate all those brave enough to stand up to his repressive strategy,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    July 10, 2018

    The repressive actions of the Nicaraguan government have reached deplorable levels, Amnesty International said today, after one of the bloodiest weekends since the repression of protests began almost three months ago.

    “Heavily armed pro-government groups remain at large, accompanied by police forces, committing joint attacks against the civilian population,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    “The message sent by the highest ranking Nicaraguan authorities is that they are willing to do anything to silence the voices of those who demonstrate against this violent repression. This situation is extremely serious and deserves strong condemnation from the international community.”

    At least 17 people were killed in Matagalpa, Jinotepe and Diriamba during the weekend, most of them by police and pro-government armed groups. In addition, the arbitrary detention of dozens of people was reported.

    June 22, 2018

    In response to the government of President Daniel Ortega’s outright rejection of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ report on grave human rights violations committed in the context of the recent protests in Nicaragua, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:

    “It’s shameful that the government of President Ortega is denying the undeniable. There is a wealth of evidence, including thousands of testimonies, to show that the Nicaraguan state has committed terrible human rights violations and continues to do so on a daily basis. This has to stop before more lives are lost.

    “The government’s reaction to today’s findings by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights demonstrates that the rhetoric of denial and division form part of its strategy of repression of the

    Nicaraguan people. We remind the state that it has an obligation under international law to protect the human rights of everyone, without distinction or discrimination.”

    June 21, 2018

    Nicaragua remains mired in an ongoing cycle of violence, despite numerous efforts by Nicaraguan civil society for national dialogue and calls from international organizations to stop the grave violations of human rights committed by state agents and affiliated groups.

    Amnesty International has continued to monitor and document the grave human rights crisis in the country and can confirm that state repression and violence have intensified in recent weeks. According to the Nicaraguan Centre for Human Rights (CENIDH), the number of people killed, most at the hands of the police and pro-government armed groups, has risen to over 190. The harassment of journalists and human rights defenders is continuing, as are restrictions on access to the right to health of injured protesters.

    “The upsurge of violence and attacks against civilians by Nicaraguan government agents and pro-government armed groups acting with their acquiescence in recent days highlights President Ortega’s insincerity and lack of commitment to resolving this crisis peacefully,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    June 05, 2018

    In a response to the “Draft Declaration of Support for the People of Nicaragua” presented by the permanent missions of the United States and Nicaragua, to be discussed and voted at the 48th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said the following:

    “The OAS member states must not turn their backs on the Nicaraguan people in their hour of need. President Ortega’s government has not shown the slightest inclination of ending its systematic policy of violent repression that has already claimed more than 100 lives in under two months, with the toll rising every day. If the countries of the region ignore the government’s responsibility for these atrocities, they will be complicit in the continued slaughter of protesters and civilians.

    May 31, 2018
      A new attack against a massive demonstration led by the mothers of those who have lost their lives as a result of the violent state repression in Nicaragua demonstrates the systematic “shoot-to-kill” policy of President Ortega’s government, said Amnesty International today after participating in the march.   The Amnesty International delegation accompanied the Mother’s Day march and witnessed the chaos caused by the detonation of firearms. The organization has been able to verify that the attacks against demonstrators were led by police and pro-government armed groups known as “Sandinista mobs” in the vicinity of the National University of Engineering and the Central American University. The possible use of snipers firing from the Dennis Martínez Stadium has also been reported.  
    May 28, 2018

    Students from the National University of Engineering who were defending their campus in Managua, Nicaragua, were attacked with firearms today, confirmed Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, in a live broadcast from her Facebook account.

    Erika Guevara-Rosas broadcast two videos of the attacks carried out first by pro-government armed groups known as “turbas sandinistas” (Sandinista mobs) and then by riot police:

    https://www.facebook.com/erikaguev/videos/10155309685356021/

    https://www.facebook.com/erikaguev/videos/10155309827286021/

    Violence against students has been increasing since 18 April, when protests against social security reforms began. Since then, Amnesty International has carried out in-depth research in Nicaragua in order to confirm the reports of human rights violations.

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    August 17, 2017
      For several hours yesterday, Nicaraguan police officers prevented communities from participating in a peaceful march against the construction of the Interoceanic Grand Canal in Nicaragua.   The march, organised by the National Council in Defence of our Land, Lake and Sovereignty, was the 91st protest against the project which will affect thousands of people. The renowned human rights defender Bianca Jagger also participated in the massive demonstration.   The police temporarily stopped the protestors from arriving in buses to the starting point for the march taking place in La Fonseca, approximately 300km from the Nicaraguan capital.   “Once again, the Nicaraguan police have violated people’s right to peaceful protest. These kinds of actions are, quite simply, acts of intimidation designed to suppress any expression of disagreement with the policies of Daniel Ortega’s government,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.  

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