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January 14, 2022
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HRW: Opponents in Nicaragua suffered more jail and exile in 2021

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Nicaragua experienced general elections in 2021 without guarantees, with dozens of opposition leaders in jail, and with thousands of citizens fleeing into exile, the organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported this Thursday, in its annual report “Latin America: Alarming setback of basic freedoms ”.

“The November elections in Nicaragua were held without the slightest democratic guarantees. In the face of the elections, the Government of Daniel Ortega detained and arbitrarily prosecuted critics and opponents, including seven presidential candidates, ”said HRW, in its report.

Since April 2018, when demonstrations broke out against the Ortega government, “more than 110,000 Nicaraguans have fled their country,” he added.

The body indicated that, since Ortega returned to power in 2007, “it has dismantled almost all institutional controls over presidential power (…) it removed opposition legislators in 2016 and banned opposition political parties. before the 2021 presidential elections”.

Between last May and October, the Nicaraguan authorities “arbitrarily detained seven presidential candidates and 32 prominent opponents of the Government” to be investigated “for alleged treason charges”, in processes led by “unidentified prosecutors” and defenders assigned by the same State, alerted.

Inaction against covid-19 in Nicaragua

HRW stated that in Nicaragua there are “more than 100 alleged critics previously detained” as of 2021.

“Most of the critics have been held incommunicado and subjected to abuses in detention, including daily interrogations, prolonged solitary confinement and insufficient food,” he said.

The report stressed that human rights violations in Nicaragua in 2021 covered the issue of health.

“Denial, inaction and opacity have characterized the government’s response to the pandemic of the covid-19. The Government did not take emergency measures in response to the pandemic, it kept schools open and fired critical doctors who did not agree with its management of the response to COVID-19, “he noted.

Regarding the pandemic, he specified that “while the Government reported more than 13,000 cases and more than 200 deaths, as of September 2021, the non-governmental organization Observatorio Ciudadano Covid-19 registered almost twice as many suspected cases and 4,500 suspicious deaths.”

The government has accused the organization and critical doctors of promoting “health terrorism.”

Attacks on doctors, journalists and indigenous people

In its report, HRW highlighted “attacks on human rights defenders and independent media.”

“They are subject to death threats, assaults, intimidation, harassment, surveillance, online smear campaigns, and arbitrary arrest and prosecution,” the organization said. which pointed out in that sense to the National Police.

“The Government restricts the freedom of expression of journalists and the media through threats, physical attacks, arrests, arbitrary financial investigations, arbitrary prosecutions and forced closures,” he added.

He also indicated that between August and July 2021 more than 45 NGOs were closed.

He also stressed that since 2018 “Ortega has forced at least 100 journalists into exile, including 25 in 2021. In August 2021, at least nine indigenous people were murdered and two women sexually abused in an attack related to a dispute over the extraction of gold in the Mayangna Sauni As indigenous territory ”.

In addition, it observed that from April 2018 to June 2021, more than 110,000 people have fled Nicaragua, of which 80,000 have requested asylum in Costa Rica, while the rest live in the United States, Europe, Mexico and Panama.

“The Police, in coordination with pro-government armed groups, brutally suppressed massive anti-government protests in 2018, leaving at least 328 dead, some 2,000 injured and hundreds of detainees,” stressed HRW.



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