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Amnesty denounces violent attacks against protesters in Nicaragua

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] denounced [press release] the "systematic 'shoot-to-kill' policy of [Nicaragua's] President Ortega's government" in a press release on Wednesday.

The statement follows an AI report [text, PDF] published the day before that detailed the Nicaraguan government's tactics to suppress protesters. The organization especially criticized the government's use of firearms to subdue protesters. "Security forces are authorized to use firearms only in extreme situations, when other means are ineffective and their use is unavoidable," AI said.

AI also criticized the use of pro-government armed groups, which the organization defines as private individuals who are acting in collusion with the government. AI explained, "The government would appear to be using this 'shock' tactic of attacks carried out by private individuals as part of a strategy in order to make the subsequent identification of those responsible for human rights violations more difficult and to increase its capacity for repression."

The report also documented extrajudicial executions, media suppression, and denial of medical care to those wounded in protests.

Recently a group of mothers of those killed by pro-government forces were attacked at a protest by police and pro-government forces. Several people died, and others were injured.

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