The regime of Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega is guilty of “serious and systematic human rights violations” and “crimes against humanity,” the United Nations (U.N.) human rights office declared this week.
A report delivered from the Chair of the Group of Human Rights Experts on Nicaragua, Jan-Michael Simon, concluded that “serious and systematic human rights violations and abuses of human rights took place in Nicaragua during the period covered by the report, perpetuated by government representatives, and those from pro-government groups.”
These violations included “extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions, torture and cruel treatment,” the report stated, as well as “arbitrary deprivation of nationality, and violations of the right to remain in the country.”
Moreover, these violations “were perpetrated against genuine and perceived opponents of the Nicaraguan Government,” Simon said, “as a pattern of behaviour which was generalised and systematic.”
The U.N. representative said the violations constituted “crimes against humanity,” which were committed “within the framework of a discriminatory policy against part of the population of Nicaragua, for political motives, intentionally organised from the highest levels of government.”
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The Ortega regime responded to the group’s investigation by calling it “nothing less than a smokescreen in order to allow fabrication of facts,” nourished by input “from certain opposition elements in the country that were putting forth false narratives directed by imperialist powers with the aim of interfering in the nation.”
According to Simon, however, the report “left no doubt regarding the grave seriousness of the human rights situation in Nicaragua, which continued to deteriorate, and could lead to an even graver humanitarian crisis.”
In a separate publication this week, the UN human rights office said that Nicaragua’s serious human rights abuses “are not an isolated phenomenon but the product of the deliberate dismantling of democratic institutions and destruction of civic and democratic space.”
The Ortega government has managed to “instrumentalize the Executive, Legislative, Judicial, and Electoral Branches to develop and implement a legal framework aimed at repressing the exercise of fundamental freedoms and persecuting opposing persons,” it said.
“The objective is to eliminate, by different means, any opposition in the country,” it added.
In an oral update on the situation of Human Rights in Nicaragua, the U.N.’s Assistant Secretary-General Ilze Brands Kehris underscored the specific case of the Bishop of Matagalpa, Rolando Álvarez, who was “sentenced to 26 years and 4 months in prison on charges of treason to the homeland, stripped of his Nicaraguan nationality, and deprived of his political rights for life.”
“His lawyer had not been informed in advance, and apparently the sentence was passed without a trial,” Kehris added.
“We call on the State of Nicaragua to unconditionally release the 37 persons still arbitrarily deprived of their liberty, including Mons. Alvarez, whose health condition is unknown, and to restore the nationality and other civil, political, social, and economic rights to the more than 300 people affected by the recent decisions,” Kehris said.
“We also urge Nicaragua to repeal all legislation that impedes the exercise of political participation, freedoms of expression, assembly and association, the right to nationality, and the right to property with legal security,” he said.
Thomas D. Williams is Breitbart Rome Bureau Chief and the author of The Coming Christian Persecution.
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