THE POLITICAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS CRISIS IN NICARAGUA
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES,
REAFFIRMING the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS), which states that “representative democracy is indispensable for the stability, peace and development of the region”;
RECALLING the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which states that “the promotion and protection of human rights is a basic prerequisite for the existence of a democratic society”;
DEEPLY DISTURBED by the continued deterioration of the human rights situation in Nicaragua, resulting from the Government’s arbitrary arrests and detentions, imprisonment of political figures, forced closure of civil society organizations and universities, seizure of municipal offices, repression of journalists and raids on media organizations, and intimidation of community leaders, including women social leaders, resulting in a climate of oppression and fear;
TAKING NOTE of the repeated statements of the Permanent Council in support of the restoration of democratic institutions and respect for human rights in Nicaragua in accordance with International Law, and its offers of assistance to the Government of Nicaragua, which have been ignored;
PROFOUNDLY TROUBLED by the reports by the Inter-American Commission on Human Right (IACHR) of the arbitrary arrest of Bishop Rolando Alvarez and eight other clerics by the Nicaraguan National Police at the Matagalpa diocesan curia on August 19th and by the systematic persecution, criminalization, harassment, police hounding, and acts of repression which the Government of Nicaragua has perpetrated against members of the Roman Catholic Church, including and the arbitrary expulsion of religious congregations;
CONSCIOUS that worsening economic and political conditions have pushed an estimated 250,000 Nicaraguans to flee the country since 2018;
NOTING the ongoing work of the IACHR to monitor the human rights crisis in Nicaragua, including the work achieved by the Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI), which has sounded alarms and issued over 35 precautionary advisories to the Nicaraguan government over the last 4 years;
CONCERNED by Nicaragua’s disregard for its international human rights obligations and by its refusal to engage with international human rights mechanisms;
NOTING that the United Nations Human Rights Council was so deeply concerned over the persistent allegations of human rights violations and abuses in Nicaragua that, in March 2022, it appointed a Group of Human Rights Experts to identify those responsible and to promote accountability through engagement with Nicaragua authorities and other stakeholders;
- To urge the Government of Nicaragua to cease all violent action against people in the country and to fully restore civic and political rights, religious freedoms, and the rule of law; to stop judicial, administrative and other forms of intimidation and harassment against journalists, especially women journalists, and against media outlets, and non-governmental organizations.
- To urge the Government of Nicaragua to guarantee the physical, mental and moral integrity, liberty and right to life of all those who have been arbitrarily detained, and to immediately release all political prisoners, in compliance with the decisions and recommendations of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
- To urge the Government of Nicaragua to cease the repression and arbitrary detention of leaders of the Catholic Church.
- To call on all States in the region to implement a strategy, based on a comprehensive human rights and gender-responsive approach, to the factors contributing to the displacement of Nicaraguan persons and their need for protection, including through the granting of asylum and other protection measures.
- To call on the Government of Nicaragua to grant full and unhindered access to its territory to international human rights bodies in a spirit of transparency and accountability.
- To request the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to continue monitoring the human rights situation in Nicaragua and to provide all reasonable assistance to the United Nations Group of Human Rights Experts on Nicaragua in support of the execution of its mandate.
- To remind the Government of Nicaragua of the deteriorating economic and social conditions of the country resulting from its actions, and to encourage it to accept the offers of regional and international cooperation to restore the nation to the path to democracy, the rule of law and peaceful progress for all its citizens.
- To request the Permanent Council to remain seized of the political and human rights situation in Nicaragua, by receiving regular updates from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and other expert bodies, and to consider all further actions that could be conducive to the return of democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights in the country.
- To invite member states to create a high-level commission mandated to offer the Government of Nicaragua an opportunity to discuss all relevant matters.