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The IACHR Urges Nicaragua to Release All Political Prisoners

Miami, .- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on Monday urged the Government of Nicaragua to release more than 80 political prisoners who remain in detention as a first step to the recovery of individual liberties and democracy in the Central American country.

The agency presented today in Miami its annual report on the situation of human rights in the country, an “accurate diagnosis” about the situation in Nicaragua, immersed in a social crisis since April 2018 and according to data from the IACHR. has collected until May 30 326 fatalities, including 24 girls, boys and adolescents, as well as 21 police officers.

Antonia Urrejola, Nicaragua’s rapporteur at the IACHR, said in the presentation that among the 4 general recommendations and 43 specific recommendations contained in the report, she highlights the need to re-establish in Nicaragua “the full validity of the rule of law guaranteeing the principle of independence and separation of public powers “.

“Despite the start of the negotiating table, arbitrary arrests, acts of harassment and persecution persist in the country and, in general, an atmosphere of repression,” Urrejola said, adding that the restitution of rights such as the right to freedom of association and expression.

During the mandate of the current executive in the Central American country under the Presidency of Daniel Ortega, which for the IACHR is controlled by the Judicial and Legislative Power, the “judicialization” of leaders and human rights defenders is observed, all of which points to a tendency “that seeks to silence, intimidate and criminalize any voice contrary to the Government’s position,” the rapporteur explained during a presentation at a hotel in Miami.

The agency warns of the “intensification” of attacks and detentions against journalists, which is part of a “phase of closure of democratic spaces” that constitutes the “de facto installation of a state of exception, characterized by the abusive exercise of force public, “the imprisonment of dissenting voices and the closure of the media.

The diagnosis reflects that for the first time in 25 years Nicaragua appears in Chapter IV of the annual report of the IACHR, corresponding to 2018, where it appeared for the last time in 1993, after having been included in that “black list” every year. since 1982.
According to the document, the Nicaraguan Executive has rejected the report as it suffers from lack of objectivity, impartiality and its “manifest bias, reflecting destabilizing political interests against the state of Nicaragua.”

Urrejola alluded to the more than 62,000 Nicaraguans who, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), have had to leave their country since the social crisis broke out.

A crisis in which also more than 700 people have been subjected to criminal proceedings, 300 health professionals arbitrarily dismissed and 144 university students expelled as reprisals, according to the latest data from the agency.
Lester Aleman, a young student and member of the Civic Alliance, demanded in Efe’s declarations the return of documents and property of all political prisoners, who have been detained until their passports.

“Ortega wants to put a tombstone on all those who demonstrate against,” Alemán said.
For his part, Edwin Carcacha Dávila, 28, who was imprisoned for 9 months in a “torture prison” in Nicaragua, called Maximum Security Prison and known as “la 300”, told Efe that he has been held in conditions subhuman “by the mere fact of thinking differently”.

“I went out last week, I had no right to sun and only 3 liters of water per week, they beat us, they tortured us, for eight days I was interrogated for up to 4 hours, precarious human conditions, without a doubt,” said the young man, who He asked that Ortega fulfill the promises he extended during the dialogue table.

Ambassador Gonzalo Koncke, chief of the Cabinet of the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), welcomed the release of more than a hundred political prisoners in May, but reinforced the need for everyone to be released, as well as as to the establishment of “deep institutional reforms” in the Central American country.

Since April 2018, Nicaragua is experiencing a socio-political crisis that has left at least 325 dead, according to the IACHR, although local organizations raise the figure to 594 and the Government recognizes 199.

Last Sunday, the National Police attacked the Metropolitan Cathedral of Managua, which hosted that day hundreds of anti-government protesters in a mass of “thanksgiving” for the freedom of those who the opposition considers “political prisoners.”

The Follow-up Mechanism of Nicaragua (Meseni), of the IACHR, expressed through Twitter its rejection of that attack by the Police on the cathedral, where, after the Eucharist, there was a confrontation between opposition demonstrators and riot police who left at least several minor injuries.


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