The Organization of American States (OAS) on Friday announced that it approved a resolution urging Nicaragua to “cease all human rights violations, release political prisoners, and respect religious freedom and freedom of expression, as well as the rule of law.” The resolution was led by the US, Canada, Chile and Costa Rica. The OAS’s Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) additionally made several requests to extend protections for political prisoners and indigenous peoples. The IACHR also granted precautionary measures, saying there is a “serious situation and urgent risk of irreparable damage to human rights” in the country.
OAS’s statements this week detail provisional measures to protect political prisoners. IACHR urged the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to extend these measures to include individuals like Mr. Rolando Jose Alverez Lagos, a priest and bishop of Matagalpa who is facing “an extremely serious and urgent risk of irreparable harm to his rights.” Alvarez Lagos had expressed disagreement with the government’s policies and is being held in detention. The measures are being adopted in accordance with Article 63(2) of the American Convention on Human Rights and Article 27 of the Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
President Daniel Ortega’s government in Nicaragua has faced scrutiny from human rights bodies who say his government is committing human rights abuses against critics and opponents. Earlier this year, a UN report revealed that over 40 people were executed, and there are a number of allegations of torture and arbitrary deprivation of liberty and nationality. In 2021, the OAS condemned Ortega’s election victory and adopted a resolution recommending appropriate action. Nicaragua is set to withdraw from the OAS in November.