The Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners through a statement rejected the “arbitrary and unfounded” expulsion of the resident delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Thomas Ess, by order of the Daniel Ortega regime and raised its complaint to organizations that watch over the defense of human rights.
The relatives of the prisoners of conscience recognized that since the beginning of the convulsive protests against the dictatorship, the ICRC has played an important role in accompanying Nicaraguans, especially as a result of the imprisonment of opponents, coordinating to verify the situation health in prisons.
“He provided information on the status of the detainees to the relatives to tell specific news about what each of the prisoners needed, because the relatives do not have reports according to the situation of each one because the regime prevents it,” reads the statement.
María Cristina Rivera, Communications Coordinator for Mexico and Central America of the ICRC, told Article 66 that the ICRC received a letter in which the Nicaraguan government notifies that it has decided to withdraw the approval of our head of mission in Nicaragua, Mr. Thomas Ess . “We do not know the reasons for this decision that took us by surprise,” said the spokeswoman.
For the peace of mind of the relatives of political prisoners, the ICRC representative said that despite this situation, the organization “ratifies its commitment to continue its humanitarian work in Nicaragua, adhering to its principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence,” Rivera told this means of communication.
They demand respect for the ICRC
The relatives of political prisoners thanked the work that the organization has been currently carrying out, but they also demanded that the work it does in the country be respected and guaranteed, “since it is an organization with humanitarian, independent and neutral functions and principles.”
Ess was appointed resident delegate for Nicaragua on January 31, 2021 after speculation that the international organization would complete its mission in Nicaragua.
The ICRC is the only international organization that has maintained a presence in Nicaragua since the April 2018 crisis. The regime had allowed its officials to visit political prisoners in the country’s prisons, verify their state of health and the sanitary conditions of the cells. .