Nicaragua

Situation of human rights in Nicaragua - Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/46/21) (Advance edited version)

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Human Rights Council
Forty-sixth session
22 February–19 March 2021
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

Summary

The present report, submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 43/2, provides an overview of the human rights situation in Nicaragua from 1 August 2019 to 31 December 2020. It focuses on increasing restrictions of civic space and persistent impunity for human rights violations committed in relation to the 2018 protests. It also highlights the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and hurricanes on human rights. The report includes recommendations complementing those made in the previous report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Nicaragua (A/HRC/42/18).

I. Introduction

  1. The present report, submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 43/2, provides an overview of the human rights situation in Nicaragua from 1 August 2019 to 31 December 2020.

  2. The report is based on information collected by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nicaragua, as well as in Costa Rica, Panama and other countries, including through in-person and remote interviews. During the reporting period, OHCHR conducted 208 interviews with victims and witnesses of human rights violations and other sources, including lawyers, journalists and health professionals (121 men and 87 women). It also held 232 meetings with a wide range of stakeholders, including the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua, members of civil society and international community representatives. OHCHR analysed documents, videos, photographs and open-source reports from both governmental and non-governmental sources.

  3. OHCHR sent 37 communications to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua, requesting detailed information about allegations of human rights violations. The Government replied to 17 of them, including to a questionnaire sent by the Office with a view to preparing the High Commissioner’s oral update to the Human Rights Council, presented on 27 February 2020. OHCHR took into account these replies in its analysis of the situation. Regrettably, since 12 June 2020, the Government has ceased replying to OHCHR communications. On several occasions, OHCHR continued to request access to the country and reiterated its availability to provide technical assistance, but did not receive any response.

  4. In line with its monitoring methodology, OHCHR cross-checked the information gathered with different sources, evaluating its credibility by applying due diligence, and assessed the information in the light of international human rights law applicable to Nicaragua and relevant domestic legislation. The information analysed and verified by OHCHR continues to provide reasonable grounds to believe that the events documented took place and point to consistent patterns of human rights violations, as described in the present report.