UN Human Rights’ bulletin: State of Nicaragua without major progress and some setbacks in compliance with High Commissioner’s recommendations

Panamá City, 8 February 2021 – “Less than a year before the general elections in Nicaragua, the implementation status of the recommendations made by the High Commissioner in September 2019 has been deficient”, highlights the special bulletin presented today by the Regional Office for Central America of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights).

The bulletin indicates how, despite some signs of goodwill, such as the release of persons detained for events related to the 2018 protests, the outcome of the balance is unsatisfactory, noting that the State has implemented very few measures in the areas covered by the recommendations, such as respect and restitution of rights and freedoms, accountability for serious human rights violations, and legislative and institutional reforms, including electoral reform.

The bulletin also points out that stigmatization and persecution actions against human rights defenders, journalists and other actors of civil society continue to occur.

UN Human Rights has also noted that, in several respects, backwards steps have been taken, such as the passing of several legislative reforms that are incompatible with international human rights standards, whose application affects the exercise of the rights and freedoms of Nicaraguans. The latest, which was passed after the bulletin had already been finalized, was a reform of the Criminal Procedure Code. Such reform allows the detention of an individual to be extended from 48 hours to 90 days, without pressing charges, before an effective judicial control of all the elements can be carried out to guarantee the presumption of innocence and the right to personal liberty.

UN Human Rights has repeatedly offered its technical assistance to facilitate the implementation of the measures recommended by the High Commissioner, but these have not yet been accepted by the Government of Nicaragua.

Since September 2018, UN Human Rights has published 18 bulletins on the human rights situation in Nicaragua. The latest focuses on the 14 recommendations made by the High Commissioner before the Human Rights Council in 2019, 11 of them directed to the Government of that country, aiming to promote an inclusive dialogue and to help overcoming the socio-political and human rights crisis. The balance also takes into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the effects caused by hurricanes Eta and Iota, which hit the country in November last year.


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