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UNHCHR issues statement against Nicaragua's regime

Wednesday, September 14th 2022 - 09:34 UTC
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Cuba spoke in favor of Ortega Cuba spoke in favor of Ortega

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has exposed in a document released Tuesday Nicaragua's disregard for civil liberties nationwide.

While the statement was endorsed in full by most countries, Argentina refused to adhere to the part where concrete actions from the UN were required to reverse the situation. Tuesday's session was chaired by Argentine Ambassador Federico Villegas Beltrán.

“In recent months we have observed that the human rights situation in Nicaragua continues to deteriorate,” UN human rights official Christian Salazar Volkmann wrote. The High Commissioner's survey showed that this year alone the Daniel Ortega regime had canceled the legal status of 1112 human rights organizations and other associations, closed 12 radio and television stations belonging to the Catholic Church, and continued with the policies already denounced in previous sessions.

The rapporteur also pointed out that at least 195 people continue to be arbitrarily detained in “inhumane” conditions.

In this scenario, Argentina's delegation stated that the South American country was following “with concern the successive reports of the Office of the High Commissioner,” but failed to join the other 46 signatories of the document. “We urge the government of Nicaragua to immediately release all persons arbitrarily detained and to reestablish rights and freedoms”, wielded the Argentine representation in the framework of the 51st session of the Council.

“We reiterate our commitment and solidarity with the people of Nicaragua and call on this Council to continue taking concrete measures to promote and protect their human rights,” read the two-page statement which also demanded that “Nicaragua reestablish the national dialogue and reform the electoral body” ahead of municipal elections in November. This communiqué was promoted by the United States and has the support of many of Argentina's allies.

Among the 46 signatories were Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Paraguay, Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay.

Meanwhile, the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and the Human Rights Collective Nicaragua Never Again applauded Tuesday's report.

“We ask the Council to urge the State of Nicaragua to allow the entry of human rights protection mechanisms, and specifically the United Nations Group of Experts to corroborate the deplorable state of more than 200 political prisoners and demand their immediate release,” Cenidh's and FIDH's representative Vilma Núñez said.

”We join the requests, the recommendations, established by the High Commissioner, that Nicaragua should collaborate with international mechanisms, such as the Group of Experts, or accountability for Nicaragua, the same UNHCHR, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR),“ said Human Rights Collective Nicaragua Never Again lawyer Braulio Abarca.

On the other hand, the Government of Cuba showed its support to that of Nicaragua: ”We ratify our unrestricted support to the Sandinista Government and the people of Nicaragua, in the face of the continuous hostile actions against them, including those carried out in the name of human rights,” said the Cuban embassy in Managua on Twitter.

Since April 2018 Nicaragua has been living a socio-political crisis that in its first year left at least 355 dead, according to the IACHR. The situation worsened last November with the elections in which Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, were re-elected with seven of their potential rivals in prison and two in exile.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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