Archive image of a military man in Nicaragua (Photo: MAX TRUJILLO)

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) warned this Wednesday about the “intense suffocation”Of civil and political liberties in Nicaragua, who faces a wave of arrests of presidential candidates and other opposition leaders with a view to the general elections on November 7.

“What we identified as a constant outrage, in recent weeks has resulted in an intense asphyxia to the exercise of civil and political freedoms”, warned the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the IACHR, Pedro Jose Vaca, in a public hearing of the Commission on the situation of political rights in the electoral context in Nicaragua.

Cow considered that “If there are years and if there are moments in which pluralism, diversity, controversy, having different views on what is happening in our environment, should shine in our societies, it is in electoral contexts.”

Therefore, he denounced that In a “year that should be plural”, there are imprisonments, restrictions on freedoms and exiles.

The session, held virtually, takes place after the Nicaraguan authorities detained in recent weeks Cristiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Félix Maradiaga, Juan Sebastián Chamorro García and Miguel Mora, candidates for the Presidency, as well as other opposition figures.

Some 125 political prisoners are currently in the prisons of the Daniel Ortega regime
Some 125 political prisoners are currently in the prisons of the Daniel Ortega regime

Nicaragua refused to participate in this hearing, as recalled by the president of the IACHR, Antonia Urrejola.

Nobody imagined that when this hearing took effect we would find ourselves in the situation we are currently in“Admitted Urrejola, noting that the session was requested” prior to the current serious human rights crisis, “although he admitted that”a serious situation was coming in relation to political rights in the electoral context of Nicaragua”.

The president of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH), Vilma Núñez, regretted that the country is going through “One of the worst human rights crises in decades” and he pointed out that its effect on people “has been so devastating that no figure can reveal it in all its dimensions.”

As a “living sample” of these “three years of terror” he recalled that 125 people remain locked in prisons “unjustly” and called for their immediate release.

Police escort the vehicle of Félix Maradiaga, aspiring candidate of the opposition group Blue and White National Unit (UNAB), as he leaves the Attorney General's Office of the Republic of Nicaragua after being summoned by the authorities (Photo: Reuters)
Police escort the vehicle of Félix Maradiaga, aspiring candidate of the opposition group Blue and White National Unit (UNAB), as he leaves the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic of Nicaragua after being summoned by the authorities (Photo: Reuters)

The activist acknowledged that the persecution in her country “it is not only with the candidates and with the politicians who are promoting the possibility of elections”And confessed that as human rights defenders they feel fear.

“Fear is a form of repression imposed on us by the dictatorship”, he regretted, although he admitted that defeating him “is also a way of resisting.”

For her part, Arlette Serrano, a lawyer specializing in human rights in Nicaragua, asked the IACHR to request the immediate cessation of the generalized repression against the Nicaraguan population, which demands respect for their rights.

Serrano warned about a systematic strategy to prohibit any form of demonstration and he considered that freedom of expression in that country “is totally restricted and there is a climate of terror” that prevents that right from being exercised.

(With information from EFE)

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