UN Human Rights Committee evaluated Nicaragua’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
HAVANA TIMES – The human rights situation in Nicaragua “has been deteriorating in a grave manner” after the sociopolitical and economic crisis the country has been facing since April 2018, stated the United Nations Human Rights Committee, during an evaluation session on Nicaragua’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, held in Geneva.
The group examined the report sent by the State of Nicaragua in November 2019, with a seven-year delay, given that it was supposed to deliver it since 2012. Furthermore, it regretted the absence of representatives of the Nicaraguan government, noting that it chose “not to engage in consultative dialogue,” despite the fact that the Committee requested its responses on repeated occasions and invited it to the session well in advance.
“The Committee regrets this unfortunate situation that has emerged from the lack of responses to the Committee’s communication with the member State, which is not conducive to a significant examination of the member state. The situation is particularly disturbing since Nicaragua has not communicated with any of the treaty bodies where it should have submitted a report, namely our sister committee, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2021, the Committee Against Torture in July 2022 and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in August of 2022,” they indicated.
Moreover, they reminded the State of Nicaragua “that ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights entails the obligation for states to submit reports on the measures taken to make effective the rights contained in the Covenant and the progress on their obligations in conformity with the Covenant and it is expected that they will be present in the session of the Committee when their reports are examined.”
Situation of political prisoners in Nicaragua
Despite the absence of the State of Nicaragua, the UN Human Rights Committee evaluated the report received and the information provided by civil society organizations and the Office of the UN High Commissioner, highlighting its concern about the inhumane and degrading treatment, and torture performed against the persons imprisoned for political reasons in various prisons in Nicaragua.
“We note with concern the mistreatment of detainees in prison centers and at the time of arrest without such police behavior being punished in all cases. We have continued to receive information on cases of torture and ill-treatment that have occurred in the context of the protests that began in April 2018 in the prisons of El Chipote, La Modelo and La Esperanza,” they stated.
In addition, they mentioned that persons deprived of liberty have been subjected to hazardous and unsanitary conditions in the country’s prisons, with inadequate temperatures and ventilation.
“We remain concerned about the situation in La Modelo, La Esperanza and El Chipote for the inadequate conditions of detention, hygiene, amount and quality of food, and access to health care,” they pointed out.
They recalled the death of retired General Hugo Torres, who died in custody of the authorities of El Chipote. “He died after being transferred to a hospital belatedly in regard to his poor overall health,” they denounced.
“The Committee is concerned about the information received regarding visits in these detention centers and on this same topic speak about the situation of detainees who have gone on hunger strike because they are prevented from seeing their minor and handicapped children,” they added.
In this context, they invited the State of Nicaragua to “pronounce itself on the aforementioned situations and report on the investigations or disciplinary proceedings and sentences against the officials responsible for these acts, as well as the measures of reparation that have been implemented.”
During the evaluation, the Committee consulted on at least 29 issues related to human rights violations, including: lack of independence of state powers, guarantee of the exercise of freedom of expression, assembly and association, access to justice, respect for the rights of women, children, indigenous people and afro-descendant peoples, and persons of sexual diversity.
It also pointed out that the State of Nicaragua has “adopted a policy of non-collaboration with United Nations human rights mechanisms, has not complied with most of the recommendations from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and has not responded to any of the requests for in-situ visits made by representatives of the different UN bodies.”
Nicaraguan civil society was present at the session held by the Committee in Geneva and provided at least ten reports related to violations of human rights committed by the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo in the last four years. Additionally, they denounced the lack of compliance of the State with its international obligations and with the Nicaraguan people, which it represents as signatory to the Covenant.
The Committee informed that the final observations on the situation in Nicaragua and its evaluation of the report on compliance with the Covenant sent by the Nicaraguan Government will be presented in the coming days after the closing of this session period. It also gave the State a 48-hour term to respond to the series of enquiries done by this body through each of its members.