UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Saturday urged the government of Nicaragua to stop intimidation and harassment against civil society and the media.
The High Commissioner’s request follows a highly contentious crackdown on anti-government protests last April, in which more than 50 people were killed. And in May, during the Nicaraguan Mother’s Day, 16 more people were killed in protests.
Bachelet said Saturday:
I appeal to the Nicaraguan Government to cease immediately the persecution of human rights defenders, civil society organizations, journalists and media that is critical of the Government. … I also urge the authorities to respect and guarantee the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people in Nicaragua. … I reaffirm my willingness to continue working so that my Office can re-establish itself in Nicaragua and thus be able to assist the Government in discharging its obligation to respect and defend the rights and freedoms of its people.
President Daniel Ortega has been in office since 2007 and the Nicaraguan economy has been slowing down as he has continued to centralize power. In November the US government added the Nicaraguan Vice President and First Lady to a financial blank list for taking apart Nicaragua’s democratic institutions.