Press Release

IACHR and Regional Office of OHCHR Condemn Renewed Violence and Attacks on Members of the Roman Catholic Church in Nicaragua

July 10, 2018

   Contact info

IACHR Press and Communication Office
Tel: +1 (202) 370-9000

   More on the IACHR
A+ A-

Managua/Panama City - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Regional Office for Central America of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) strongly condemn the serious violence that occurred this weekend in different parts of Nicaragua, in which 20 people—including at least two police officers—were allegedly killed and scores were injured. We also condemn the stigmatization and persecution of human rights defenders and other actors involved in the National Dialogue.

Based on its international obligations concerning human rights, the State is responsible for protecting the safety, the right to life and the exercise of human rights of all the Nicaraguan people. In that context, any raid conducted by the country’s security forces must ensure a reasonable and proportionate use of force. Further, the IACHR and the Regional Office of the OHCHR stress their calls for pro-government armed groups to be urgently broken up.

The IACHR and the Regional Office of the OHCHR strongly reject yesterday’s attacks on several members of the Roman Catholic Church in Diriamba, where several priests—including the Apostolic Nuncio, the Cardinal and the Auxiliary Bishop of Managua—were attacked by at least 100 people who insulted and threatened them, and beat them up. Several journalists who were at the site were also beaten up and had equipment stolen. We alert about the fact that members of the Roman Catholic Church have been subjected to a stigmatization campaign for the institution’s efforts to protect the physical integrity of protesters and for its fundamental role in mediation in the context of the National Dialogue, with a view to attaining a desirable, peaceful solution to the serious human rights crisis that is ongoing in the country.

We call on the State to refrain from issuing public comments that stigmatize actors who defend human rights and other participants in the National Dialogue. Such stigmatization may fuel violence against people based on their opinions.

The IACHR and the Regional Office of the OHCHR stress their disposition to keep supporting the work of the National Dialogue’s Verification and Security Commission. They ask that all National Police raids and actions to deal with violent incidents apply a human rights approach, as well as the protocols that have been previously agreed on by the National Dialogue.

The State of Nicaragua must release a list of all the people killed and injured in those raids and immediately conduct a timely and adequate investigation into who is responsible for those events. As international human rights organizations, we await the information we have requested concerning detainees, and ask to be granted access to detention centers to verify detainees’ personal integrity and ensure they have access to justice.

No. 147/18