The Nicaraguan government has eliminated all forms of civil organization

Geneva, September 13 (EFE).- The Nicaraguan government has eliminated all forms of civil organization in the country, particularly those linked to the Catholic Church, according to a report presented today by the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights, which shows , that the crisis is deepening more and more.

The organization said persistent violations of the rights of association, press, expression, freedom and justice, among others, raised concerns about how the municipal elections next November would be conducted.

“Attacks on freedom of association have increased exponentially. This year, the legal personality of 1,512 human rights organizations, development aid organizations, professional associations, including doctors, and organizations affiliated with the Catholic Church was revoked,” said a representative of the UN body.

CLOSURE OF CIVIL ORGANIZATIONS

The Director of Field Operations of the Superior Police Station, Christian Salazar, pointed out that with this new wave of repression, there are now 1,578 organizations that have been forced to close since 2018, the year citizens took to the streets to demand democratic reforms, a movement that was crushed with much violence.

Nearly 200 people remain in arbitrary detention in connection with the socio-political crisis that has continued ever since. Of these, fifty were jailed in the context of the 2021 elections and recently sentenced, some to 13 years in prison in trials that were not fair, the UN said.

Even prison is not enough for the authorities, as many of these prisoners have been denied all contact with their families for more than a year, according to the report presented to the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva.

THEY ATTACKED THE CHURCH AND THE PRESS

The presentation mentioned that in a major police operation, transmission equipment was seized from a Catholic radio station that broadcasts from a parish in Sebaco, Matagalpa, whose bishop, along with eight other people, were arrested and transferred to the capital, Managua.

The events took place in mid-August and a judge extended their detention for ninety days.

Press freedom has also been stifled, with 20 television and radio stations closed this year alone, most of them religious in nature, while many employees of the country’s largest newspaper were forced into exile.

They join the 120 journalists who have fled the country since 2018.

This crisis situation resulted in 200,000 Nicaraguans becoming refugees and asylum seekers, 75% of them in Costa Rica.

The seriousness of the expulsion is also evident in the number of Nicaraguan migrants apprehended by United States border officials, which has risen from about 5,500 in 2018 to more than 84,000 so far this year.

REACTIONS

From Managua, Nicaraguan Attorney General Wendy Morales responded by email to the report, which she rejected outright, warning that the government does not accept the recommendations it makes, which include launching a national dialogue and freeing political prisoners.

He claimed that the United States and other Western countries were using these recommendations “to try to bend us to their will” and that it was, in fact, “a way of interfering in the internal affairs of Nicaragua.”

In the comments that followed these remarks, the delegation of Ecuador – on behalf of a group of 46 countries – expressed concern about the situation in Nicaragua, in particular about the impact on the right to education of the closure of universities and the rule that subordinates academic programs to the approval of a central organ.

The European Union condemned the “general repression that is suffocating the country” and the growing number of political prisoners, some of whom are denied medical treatment or subjected to solitary confinement.

Isabel Sack

c) EFE Agency

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