Carter Center Condemns the Continued Violence in Nicaragua

Report
from Carter Center
Published on 13 Jun 2018 View Original

Contact: In Atlanta, Soyia Ellison, soyia.ellison@cartercenter.org

ATLANTA — The Carter Center strongly condemns the violent retaliation and excessive use of force against demonstrators in Nicaragua, and calls on the government to cease all acts of violence and repression and to dismantle para-police groups and riot squads.

Since April 18, police, para-police, special forces, and organized groups with links to the government have suppressed citizen protests throughout the country, resulting in the deaths of at least 146 people. Hundreds more have been injured or arbitrarily detained, facing acts of torture and cruel, degrading, and inhumane treatment. As has been widely documented by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, victims include children, students, human rights defenders, journalists, and other civilians.

We emphatically support the creation of an Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts by the IACHR, as a result of its in loco visit, and encourage the Ortega administration to comply with its mandates. We insist that there be a thorough, transparent, and independent inquiry into the violence to ensure truth, justice, and reparations for all victims. The government has the responsibility to guarantee and respect the life and integrity of its people under any circumstance. It must ensure the right to freedom of assembly and peaceful demonstration and provide guarantees of security for the political opposition.

The Carter Center denounces the systematic prosecution and harassment of social activists, journalists, and human rights defenders. It also rejects the recent accusations made against Felix Maradiaga, executive director of the Institute of Strategic Studies and Public Policies, for alleged crimes of collusion, terrorism, and drug trafficking, as well as the accusations against other individuals who have tirelessly worked for democracy and the protection of human rights in their country.

We remind all Nicaraguans that the exercise of their constitutional right to protest must be peaceful, tolerant, and respectful of the pluralism of a democratic society, and we demand the immediate cessation of all acts of violence, intimidation, and threats. We urge the Ortega administration to seek mechanisms and solutions to prevent a downward spiral of conflict, and call upon all actors to resume the dialogue process to arrive at a peaceful resolution of the political crisis.

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A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.