Human rights campaigners from the Center for Justice and International law (CEJIL) – Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional – said immigration authorities blocked them from entering Nicaragua on Friday and forced them to return to Costa Rica.
A three-member delegation from the organization arrived at Managua’s international airport early on Friday but were barred from entering the crisis-torn Central American country, the CEJIL said.
The group said it had a formal letter of invitation from the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (CIDH) for a meeting in Managua.
“This clearly shows the government’s low commitment to human rights and democracy,” the CEJIL said.
Nicaragua has been descending into chaos since April 18, when police and pro-government paramilitaries cracked down on protests against social security reforms.
Demonstrations evolved into a wider opposition against President Daniel Ortega, a former leftist guerrilla who has maintained power for 11 consecutive years and refused calls to step down.
Rights groups say more than 300 people have now been killed in the turmoil and hundreds more detained in a crackdown.
“We reiterate our commitment to continue accompanying the human rights defenders in Nicaragua. These types of acts are not going to intimidate us,” the CEJIL said on Twitter.