The UN Group of Experts on Human Rights in Nicaragua (Ghren) has presented a report that concludes that President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo, along with seven state institutions, have committed crimes against humanity in Nicaragua since 2018, when social protests were violently repressed. The report attributes specific responsibilities, from the presidential couple to the middle managers who carried out the orders to repress. The Ghren has applied the “reasonable grounds to believe” standard of proof and concluded that there is sufficient evidence to trigger criminal law.
Although Nicaragua has not ratified the Rome Statute, the Ghren urge the international community to initiate criminal proceedings in their respective jurisdictions for these crimes, as Argentina has already done. The report highlights the seriousness of the regime’s stripping the nationality of 317 people, including political opponents, journalists, and critical intellectuals. In addition, it determines that officials of various government structures have committed “extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions, torture, and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; arbitrary deprivation of nationality; and violations of the right to remain in one’s own country, as well as violations of the right to participate in public affairs and the freedoms of expression, opinion, association, assembly, conscience, and religion”.
The Ghren has called on the international community to extend “sectoral sanctions to institutions and individuals involved in the commission of violations and crimes under international law” and suggests that governments and multilateral organizations prioritize actions aimed at improving the human rights situation in Nicaragua in the negotiation of cooperation projects. The report reflects the seriousness of the situation in Nicaragua, a few days after five years of a dictatorship consolidated on the basis of police and paramilitary repression. The Ortega-Murillo regime refused to cooperate with the experts, as it never recognized the mandate granted by the United Nations.
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