Nicaragua: CSOs denounce authorities’ intensified repression of activists, human rights defenders, and journalists

September 18, 2020

Photo: Jorge Mejía Peralta/Flickr

September 18th, 2020. The signatories of this letter denounce the repression of activists and those perceived as opponents of the Nicaraguan government at the hands of state agents during the celebration of Nicaragua’s Independence Day. Nicaraguan organizations recorded human rights violations carried out with a clear intent to intimidate those who oppose the current government’s policies.

During the month of September, civil society figures, journalists, former political prisoners, and their families have all been targeted with arrests, criminalization, excessive force, raids of their homes, police harassment, death threats, vandalism, public slander, and online smear campaigns.

Furthermore, women who work to defend human rights in Nicaragua are facing a dangerously violent situation. According to the data maintained by the Mesoamerican Initiative for Women Human Rights Defenders (IM-Defensoras), 165 aggressions against female activists took place from September 1-14, including threats sent through social media. The two reports of sexual violence against activists recorded by IM-Defensoras are particularly grave. The organization has reported that one of these sexual assaults was perpetrated by members of a pro-government group; the second is still under investigation.

These facts are part of a pattern of repression during public holidays, one that appears to be accelerating. Along with this past Independence Day, repression took place during events to mark the two-year anniversary of Nicaragua’s protest movement and during a march to mark Mothers’ Day.

We are especially concerned by Nicaraguan organizations’ reports that authorities have ordered the National Police to carry out these human rights violations. According to in-country organizations, the Police are assisted in their repression by pro-government civilian groups and the ruling party’s territorial organizations, some of them armed. These reports correspond with previous evidence, documented in several reports by civil society, signaling that actors in the Nicaraguan State have coordinated with pro-government groups to carry out repression.

We call upon the international community and human rights bodies to remain vigilant regarding the situation in Nicaragua and to join us in condemning the repression of activists, journalists, and human rights defenders.

Subscribed by:

1. ACCOES (Asociación Casa de Colombia en España), Spain
2. Alianza Politica Sector de Mujeres -APSM-, Guatemala
3. Amnistía Internacional, Global
4. Aquelarre RD, Dominican Republic
5. Articulación de Movimientos Sociales y OSC, Nicaragua
6. Asociación Movimiento de Mujeres de Santo Tomás, El Salvador
7. Asociación Nica Libre, Spain
8. Asociadas por lo Justo (JASS), Global
9. Calala Fondo de Mujeres, Spain
10. Campaña 28 de Setiembre por la Despenalización del Aborto en América Latina y El Caribe – Punto Focal Nicaragua, Nicaragua
11. Center for Justice and International Law, Mexico and Central America
12. Centro de Asistencia Legal a Pueblos Indígenas (CALPI), Global
13. Centro de estudios y capacitación familiar, Panama
14. Centro de Información de Servicios de Asesoría en Salud, Nicaragua – Costa Rica
15. Centro Nicaraguense de Derechos Humanos CENIDH, Nicaragua
16. Civicus: Alianza Mundial por la participación Ciudadana, Global
17. Colectivo de Derechos Humanos Nicaragua Nunca +, Costa Rica
18. Comité de América Latina y el Caribe para la Defensa de los Derechos de las Mujeres – CLADEM, Latin America and the Caribbean
19. Comité de América Latina y el Caribe para la Defensa de los Derechos de las Mujeres – CLADEM, Guatemala
20. Comité de América Latina y el Caribe para la Defensa de los Derechos de las Mujeres – CLADEM, Panama
21. Comite de América Latina y el Caribe para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres – CLADEM Nicaragua
22. Concertación Interamericana de Mujeres Activistas por los Derechos Humanos – CIMA, Latin America
23. Consorcio para el Diálogo Parlamentario y la Equidad Oaxaca AC, Mexico
24. Convergencia Ciudadana de Mujeres (Converge Mujeres), Guatemala
25. Equipos Docentes Rep. Dom., Dominican Republic
26. FAN Feministas Autoconvocadas de Nicaragua, Nicaragua
27. Federación internacional de Derechos Humanos (FIDH) en el marco del Observatorio para la Protección de los Defensores de Derechos Humanos, Global
28. Fondo de Acción Urgente para América Latina y el Caribe – FAU-AL, América Latina y Caribe Hispanohablante
29. Fundación Acceso, Central America
30. Fundación para el Debido Proceso (DPLF), Latin America
31. Fundación Puntos de Encuentro, Nicaragua
32. Grupo Guatemalteco de Mujeres, Guatemala
33. Iniciativa Mesoamericana de Mujeres Defensoras de Derechos Humanos (IM-Defensoras), Mesoamerica
34. International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality), Latin America
35. Las Reinas Chulas Cabaret y Derechos Humanos AC, Mexico
36. Mujeres en Acción, Global
37. Mujeres en Acción – Costa Rica
38. Núcleo de Apoyo a la Mujer NAM, Dominican Republic
39. Oficina en Washington para Asuntos Latinoamericanos (WOLA), Centroamerica, US
40. Organización de Mujeres Tierra Viva, Guatemala
41. Organización Mundial contra la Tortura (OMCT) en el marco del Observatorio para la Protección de Derechos Humanos, Global
42. Plataforma Nicaragüense Redes de ONG, Nicaragua
43. Protection International Mesoamérica, Mesoamerica
44. Red de Defensoría DDHH de Mujeres y Jóvenes, Dominican Republic
45. Red de Hondureñas Migradas, Spain
46. Red de mujeres contra la violencia, Nicaragua
47. Red de Salud de las Mujeres Latinoamericanas y del Caribe – RSMLAC, Latin America and the Caribbean
48. Red Internacional de Derechos Humanos (RIDH), Global
49. Unidad de Protección a Defensoras y Defensores de Derechos Humanos Guatemala (UDEFEGUA), Guatemala
50. Y las Mujeres Qué?, Mexico