UN Calls for Urgent Action to Address the “Repression” in Nicaragua

The government’s paramilitary forces operate with the approval and coordination from the National Police.

HAVANA TIMES – The UN today called for urgent measures to address the human rights crisis in Nicaragua, where it denounced “repression and reprisals” against protesters who have protested against the government of President Daniel Ortega since April.

“Repression and reprisals against demonstrators continues in Nicaragua, while the world looks away,” denounces the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in a statement published in Geneva.

The crisis in Nicaragua erupted on April 18 with a student protest against a social security reform decree. The demonstrations heated up considerably after the violent action of the Police and the Army. Today, human rights organizations place the number of dead since the beginning of the crisis at over 330, way over two thousand injured, and hundreds detained and disappeared.

“The violence and impunity of the past four months have highlighted the fragility of the country’s institutions and the rule of law, and have generated a context of fear and distrust,” adds the head of the institution, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

Faced with this high degree of repression, many people who participated in the protests or simply defended the rights of protesters or expressed dissenting opinions have been forced to hide or to flee the country, the text points out.

Al Hussein called on the Human Rights Council and the international community to take “specific measures” to prevent even more serious social and political unrest, as well as to demand responsibility for violations and human rights abuses and to provide reparations to the victims.

The UN report documents, between April 18 and August 18, violations and the disproportionate use of force by police ranging from arbitrary and widespread arrests, torture and ill-treatment, to forced disappearances and extrajudicial executions, as well as violations of the right to freedom of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly.

The text speaks of two phases of crisis: the first, until mid-June, of repression of protests by the police and “pro-government armed elements” and a second “cleansing”, in which the police and “armed pro-government forces” (paramilitary) violently dismantled the defensive barricades and roadblocks installed by the demonstrators.

According to the UN, the armed civilians act with the approval and even coordinated with high-level state authorities and the National Police.

“Although the government no longer denies the existence of pro-government armed civilians, it does approve their actions and allows them to operate with impunity,” denounces the text.

2 thoughts on “UN Calls for Urgent Action to Address the “Repression” in Nicaragua

  • Having lived and worked in Nicaragua for the past 30 years…

    We witnessed the paramilitary snipers shoot dead 17 unarmed protesters on the Day of the Flowers peaceful march. In addition there is the well documented case of a 15 year old boy shot in the head by a police woman as he pleaded for his life…a family pushed back into the flames by paramilitaries as their house burnt…live bullets shot at the heads of peaceful protesters on the barricades…people scared to go out at nights because of paramilitaries and police rampaging round the streets, shooting at pedestrians…a young shift worker shot in the head as he went to work in the early morning…now nearly 500 killed and many thousands incarcerated. Sounds like old Pinochet in Chile, eh?

    Your correspondent will no doubt say the paramilitaries are under the CIA. Well, Ortega has admitted their existence as ‘volunteer policemen’. Even if they controlled by the CIA, why has he, and his army, tolerated them so long and took no action? And is still not taking any steps to control them?

    Simple facts, my deluded friend, doctors being thrown out of work for treating wounded protestors…I could go on. Witnesses are Amnesty International, many more human rights organisations, the United Nations, the OAS, Sergio Ramirez and Carlos Godoy – among many old school Sandinistas, international journalists including left wing organisations – Guardian, BBC, Al Jazeera, Huff Post; even Ortega’s brother, Humberto, and of course the many thousands of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pictures from ordinary Nicaraguans. Not forgetting the thousands that are now fleeing across the Costa Rican border with some horrific stories to tell.

    All a CIA plot, eh?

  • Not to whitewash the bourgeois-nationalist nicaraguan regime, here… but if you people can’t see the CIA, et al.’s fingerprints all over this latest ‘regime-change’ ‘color revolution’ — with the same thing going down in Venezuela, too — you are truly blinded by your ideological hatred of your own post-stalinist regime.

    Do you REALLY want the Miami Mafia running the show in Cuba, hmm..? Nothing like privatized, for-profit deathsquads…

    And of COURSE the so-called ‘United Nations’ is in the pocket of U.S./NATO Imperialism. Their ‘objective’ confirmation of any outrageous U.S. Imperialist claims against targeted regimes are not worth the proverbial paper they are written on. Let them go the way of their equally-corrupted ‘League of Nations’ predecessors.

    Proletarian World Socialist Revolution. Without stalinist counter-revolution.
    This is not a century ago, OK? Things *will* be different.

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