Joint Statement on the Government of Nicaragua's Cancelation of the Legal Standing of Civil Society Organizations

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 21, 2018

The text of the following statement on Nicaragua was released by the Governments of Australia, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, pursuant to their collective commitment to the defense of civil society organizations around the world.

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The Foreign Ministries of Australia, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, in support of our civil society partners, strongly condemn the recent actions taken by the government of Nicaragua to cancel the legal registration of Nicaraguan civil society organizations working on a range of democratic governance and human rights issues, including: the Institute of Strategic Studies and Public Policies (IEEPP), the Center for Information and Advice on Health Services (CISAS), Hagamos Democracia, the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH), the Institute for the Development of Democracy (IPADE), the Nicaraguan Center for Communication (CINCO), Popol Na, the Segovias Leadership Institute and the Rio Foundation.

The arbitrary cancelation of the legal standing of these civil society organizations (CSOs) and subsequent ransacking of several offices by National Police are a direct attack on the fundamental freedoms of the Nicaraguan people. The work of these organizations is essential to account for the ongoing human rights abuses and violations in Nicaragua. We urge the government of Nicaragua to reinstate the legal standing of these CSOs immediately, to cease all threats and attacks against Nicaraguan civil society and to uphold the fundamental freedoms in accordance with its international human rights law obligations.

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In addition to the above statement, the United States underscores the serious and negative impact on all Nicaraguan CSOs of the Ortega/Murillo regime’s December 19 expulsion of experts investigating human rights abuses in Nicaragua. The expulsions of human rights experts and the cancelation of legal standing of CSOs cannot hide the extensive, systematic human rights violations and abuses committed by the Ortega/Murillo regime.