MANAGUA – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights charged on Monday that the material it obtained during its recent fieldwork in Nicaragua shows evidence of “grave violations of human rights” and 76 deaths during the past month of protests.
“The IACHR gathered documentary and audiovisual evidence, and heard hundreds of testimonies that reveal grave violations of human rights during a month of protests, characterized by the excessive use of force by state security forces and armed third parties,” commissioner Antonia Urrejola said regarding Nicaragua.
Urrejola said that the result of the use of force, in the Central American country, apart from causing “dozens of deaths and hundreds of people injured,” also included “illegal and arbitrary detentions; torture; cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment; censure and attacks against the press and other forms of intimidation.”
According to the information obtained by the IACHR, since the start of the crisis in Nicaragua on April 18, at least 76 people have died and 868 have been injured, most of them during anti-government protests.
Another 438 people have been arrested, the organization added, going on to say that the Nicaraguan government of Daniel Ortega, who has been in power for 11 years, must stop trying to repress protests.
Nicaragua “must urgently adopt measures to guarantee the free and full rights of freedom of expression, peaceful gathering and political participation,” the IACHR said, and it urged Managua to adopt 15 recommendations, including investigating human rights abuses and prosecuting those responsible for them.
The IACHR also asked that information on people treated for injuries at hospitals be systematized and all international instruments on human rights and openness to international monitoring be implemented.
The Nicaraguan government is presently carrying out a national Catholic Church-mediated dialogue with students and business leaders to attempt to resolve the crisis.
Last week, as the talks got under way, students harshly criticized Ortega to his face at the session and accused him of ruining the country.