The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) denounced that the administration of Daniel Ortega continues to reduce the space for civil society in Nicaragua by massively canceling legal entities to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
The Ortega regime, through the National Assembly, has “arbitrarily” closed around 250 NGOs so far in 2022, arguing that they have “transgressed and failed to comply with their obligations” before the law, for which they “hinder control and surveillance” of the General Directorate of Registration and Control of Non-Profit Organizations.
FIDH, in a release, highlighted that in less than a month, between May 4 and 31, the Ortega steamroller approved the cancellation of 177 NGOs; a record figure never seen before.
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He pointed to the Sandinista deputy Filiberto Rodríguez as the main “executioner” of the organizations, since the subordinate of the regime is the one who promotes the cancellation initiatives in the Nicaraguan Parliament.
In addition, it reported that the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (FIDH-OMCT) “denounces this new attack on civil society and urges the Nicaraguan authorities to revoke this decision and guarantee, in all circumstances, the right to freedom of association”.
On Thursday, June 2, the regime annihilated 96 more non-governmental organizations. The dictatorship already has more than 400 NGOs canceled in the country since the end of 2018, the year in which the civic protests began.
“These cancellations are intended to eliminate any possible social and political vision that differs from that established by the regime. This systematic harassment, characteristic of a totalitarian state, does not only concern political or human rights organizations, but artistic, journalistic, educational, scientific, environmental and social organizations are also victims of persecution”, FIDH insisted.
The Ortega dictatorship has as its “ultimate objective” to eliminate any possibility of an independent civil society in Nicaragua; “It has not been satisfied with the cancellation alone, in many cases it has been accompanied by the usurpation and illegal appropriation of its assets,” he denounced.
“These decisions are framed in a context of systematic repression carried out since 2018 against people and organizations that defend and demand respect for human rights in Nicaragua. The persecution increased in the months leading up to the November 2021 elections with the aim of eliminating all dissenting voices and political opposition and imposing a single form of social organization controlled by the regime,” he added.
The FIDH rejected the massive banning of NGOs, which from 2018 to date have totaled around 430 canceled entities, and demanded that the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship «immediately revoke these arbitrary decisions, and guarantee, in all circumstances, the right to freedom of association, enshrined in the Nicaraguan Constitution, as well as in several international human rights instruments.