Nicaragua joins Cuba, Venezuela on human rights black list

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on Thursday, March 21, 2019, put Nicaragua on its human rights blacklist along with Venezuela and Cuba, the group said.

Riot police square off with anti-government demonstrators in Nicaragua, now on a new human rights black list. (AFP/Maynor VALENZUELA)

In its annual report, citing a group of experts’ conclusion in December the Ortega government communicated the decision to temporarily suspend the presence of the MESENI in the country and the IACHR’s visits, as well as the expiry of the GIEI’s time-limits, objective, and mission.

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The IACHR said authorities committed crimes against humanity while cracking down on demonstrators against President Daniel Ortega’s government.

The IACHR “has watched closely as Nicaragua’s human rights situation continued to worsen, particularly since the start of violence from Apr 18, 2018, as part of state repression of protests,” it said a statement.

The report says: “On February 15, 2019, the IACHR noted that repressions of the protests that started on April 18 led to the death of 325 persons, 21 of whom were police officers and 24 of whom were children or adolescents; more than 2,000 wounded; 777 persons detained and tried according to figures provided by civil society organizations; the dismissal of 300 health professionals; and the expulsion of at least 144 students from the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua—UNAN). In addition, up to September 2018, in Costa Rica alone, there was a 1,376 percent increase in Nicaraguan asylum seekers compared to Nicaraguans seeking asylum globally in 2017. The above is a consequence of the various forms of persecution that have occurred in the country against protesters, opponents, students, social leaders, and human rights defenders described in the paragraphs above. In view of the inconsistencies in the figures provided by the Nicaraguan authorities and the public questioning of records held by the IACHR, the Inter-American Commission repeatedly informed the state of Nicaragua that it was willing to compare and cross-check the data, without receiving any response whatsoever. The State, for its part, recognizes 198 fatalities in the context of the crisis and claims to have clarified 32 of those cases, while another 21 would be in process. Likewise, at the end of this chapter, the State recognizes that it holds 372 people in detention (345 men and 27 women).”

Also in the report, Venezuela and Cuba again were described as countries that did not meet respect for human rights.

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