Nicaragua’s Congress approves amnesty law for crimes during protests
© WikiMedia (Public Domain: Voice of America)
Nicaragua’s Congress approves amnesty law for crimes during protests

Nicaragua’s Congress on Saturday approved an amnesty law that will offer protection to police and others involved in crimes against anti-government protesters over the past year.

According to rights groups, more than 700 people were arrested in demonstrations that erupted in April 2018 when President Daniel Ortega tried to cut social security. More than 300 mostly opposition protesters died in clashes with security forces, while more than 60,000 Nicaraguans have gone into exile due to political strife over the last 14 months.

The new law was approved by 70 votes from Ortega’s Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in the 92-member chamber. It allows for the release of detainees arrested during anti-Ortega protests, individuals whom the former Marxist guerilla has dubbed terrorists.

The new law has faced harsh criticism from human rights groups and the UN.