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July 2018

Media Monitoring Report for Nicaragua
Posted on July 25, 2018

Compiled by Guillermo Glujovsky

  1. Overview
  2. Current situation
  3. Denunciations against Senior Officials, responsible for abuses against civil rights
1. Overview
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Nicaragua in April, 2018, over a new law that raised worker and employer social security contributions. Ortega scrapped the cuts, but the violent repression of dissent sparked wider protests.
Source: Reuters Agency
2. Current situation 

Since protests broke out, at least 270 people have been killed and over 1,500 have been injured, in most cases at the hands of police officers and pro-government armed gangs. There has been no indication that key officials have taken steps to prevent and punish violations. On the contrary, they have issued implausible blanket denials, often blaming demonstrators for violence. President Daniel Ortega has said that his government is working to ensure Nicaraguans’ “right to peace” and that the police have been “the victim of a [smear] campaign.”

3. Freedom of expression

After a visit to the country in May, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights found extensive evidence implicating the Nicaraguan police in a wide range of serious abuses, including:

  • excessive use of force, 
  • arbitrary detention,  
  • torture. 

The commission concluded that the number of abuses strongly suggested “coordinated action” to repress dissent – not “merely illegal acts committed by some officials within the security forces.” The commission also found “patterns” of abuse, including excessive use of force against protesters that would indicate they were “systematic.”

“As President Ortega repeats the mantra that his government is working to ensure peace in Nicaragua, policemen under his control continue to kill protesters.” said José Miguel Vivanco, America’s director at Human Rights Watch. “Nicaraguan authorities aren’t doing what is needed to prevent more rights violations and to ensure that those responsible are held to account.”

Source: Human Rights Watch
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