Human Rights Council
9–27 September 2019
Agenda item 2
Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General
Submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 40/2, the present report provides an overview of the human rights situation in Nicaragua from 19 August 2018 to 31 July 2019. It offers 14 recommendations to help address outstanding concerns.
In its resolution 40/2, the Human Rights Council requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights “to prepare a comprehensive written report on the human rights situation in Nicaragua and to present it to its forty-second session”.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) intensified its monitoring of the human rights situation in Nicaragua in early April 2018, at the onset of the socio-political and human rights crisis. On 26 June 2018, OHCHR deployed a team of human rights officers to Managua, at the invitation of the Government. On 29 August 2018,
OHCHR published a report on “Human rights violations and abuses in the context of protests in Nicaragua, 18 April-18 August 2018”. 1 On 30 August 2018, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua rescinded its invitation to OHCHR. The OHCHR Regional Office for Central America has since continued remotely monitoring the human rights situation in Nicaragua. On 14 December 2018, the OHCHR Regional Representative in Central America met the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Managua to discuss possible cooperation and access to the country, in follow-up to a meeting between the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Geneva, on 17 September 2018.
This report focuses on the human rights situation in Nicaragua from 19 August 2018 to 31 July 2019. It is based on information collected by OHCHR in Nicaragua, as well as in Panama and Costa Rica, including through interviews with Nicaraguan refugees and migrants and remote interviews. During the period under review, OHCHR thus conducted 187 interviews with victims and witnesses of human rights violations and other sources, including lawyers, journalists and health professionals (96 men and 91 women). It interviewed 96 people remotely and 91 in person. OHCHR also held 128 meetings with various stakeholders, including Government officials. Furthermore, OHCHR analyzed documents from governmental and non-governmental sources, including videos, photos, and open source reports. It sent 37 communications to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, requesting detailed information about allegations of human rights violations. The Government replied to six of them, including to a questionnaire sent by OHCHR in view of the preparation of this report. OHCHR is grateful to the Government for responding to its requests, but notes that most of the information provided lacked sufficient precision to allow proper analysis.
In line with its methodology on human rights monitoring, OHCHR crosschecked the information it collected with different sources and evaluated its credibility by applying due diligence. The information it analyzed and verified provides reasonable grounds to believe that the facts took place as described and that patterns outlined in the report constitute human rights violations. OHCHR assessed the information in the light of international human rights law applicable to Nicaragua and relevant domestic legislation, also taking into account standard-setting instruments complementary to international norms.