Nicaragua: the Council must renew the mandate of the Group of Human Rights Experts

Statement at the 52nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Interactive Dialogue with the Group of Human Rights Experts on Nicaragua

Delivered by Amaru Ruiz

Thank you, Mr. President.

CIVICUS and Fundación del Rio welcome the report of the Group of Human Rights Experts.

We very much welcome the release of 222 political prisoners, but we are alarmed by the decision to banish and strip them and 95 other government critics, journalists, and human rights defenders of Nicaraguan citizenship, and the confiscation of their assets. I am one of these 317 citizens who are now stateless. Let’s not forget the 38 political prisoners still arbitrarily detained by the government, including Monsignor Rolando Álvarez.

The status of civic space in the country is dire and further deteriorating due to the Government’s concerted effort to stifle every form of dissenting opinion. Since early 2022, the Ministry of Interior has cancelled the legal status of over 3,200 non-governmental organizations, representing 45% of existing legal entities prior to April 2018.

The situation is further worsened by the government’s complete refusal to cooperate and engage with international human rights bodies. The many recommendations received by the Government to end impunity for grave abuses and to desist from using arbitrary detentions as a mean to suppress dissent, have been shamefully and deliberately disregarded by the Government. The government has also ignored calls repeal legal frameworks that violate civil and political rights.

In light of the appalling human rights violations and impunity, and of lack of cooperation, the Group of Experts and the OHCHR’s mandates are more important than ever as they remain the only mechanisms able to gather evidence of and report on human rights violations and provide recommendations for necessary action. We urge the Council to renew the mandate of the Group of Expert for two years and extend OHCHR mandate.

We thank you.

 Civic space in Nicaragua is rated as "Closed" by the CIVICUS Monitor