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Resolution approved by the Human Rights Council on March 21, 2019
The Human Rights Council,
Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other relevant international human rights instruments,
Reaffirming the primary responsibility of States to respect, protect and fulfill all human rights and fundamental freedoms and to fulfill their obligations under the human rights treaties and agreements to which they are party...
Since April 2018, the government has criminalised, arbitrarily detained, tortured, disappeared, and even killed, those who promote human rights and who question the government’s way of governing, including indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples defending their ancestral territory. It has also adopted a series of laws restricting freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association, further closing space for civil society to push for positive change.
Recognising this crisis, the UN, through its Human Rights Council, has taken action by adopting resolution 46/2, calling on the Government of Nicaragua to adopt a series of urgent measures to resolve this multi-pronged human rights crisis. Yet, according to our research, the Government of Nicaragua has not implemented any of the recommendations of resolution 46/2. On the contrary, it has taken an increasing number of measures contrary to them.
Additionally, the Nicaraguan Government has showed no intention to resume meaningful cooperation with the international community, since it expelled the UN and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)’s human rights presence from the country in December 2018. During dedicated Human Rights Council meetings, it avoided addressing any substantial concern, instead rejecting all criticism as ‘interventionist and supremacist.’ It also refused to respond to questions posed by the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (CESCR) during its review last September.
It is time for the UN Human Rights Council to respond more assertively by establishing an international mechanism that ensures justice and accountability for Nicaragua, at its upcoming March 2022 session.
Resolution 46/2 was one of the last opportunities for Nicaragua’s Government to demonstrate its willingness to cooperate in good faith with the international community to find a solution to the human rights crisis in the country. As the Government did not take any significant steps to implement the international community’s recommendations, nor to cooperate with it, it is time for the UN to escalate its response, at the March 2022 session of the Human Rights Council.
We want the Human Rights Council to appoint a group of international, independent experts, to inquire into grave human rights violations since April 2018, as well as its root causes, with a view to holding perpetrators accountable in the future.
This should, in the long run, push the government of Nicaragua to respect the human rights of all Nicaraguan people. We want to see justice, truth, reparations and guarantees of non-repetition, for the victims of human rights abuses documented since April 2018. This includes the restoration of genuine rule of law, the recognition of the ancestral territories of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples, as well as free, fair and transparent elections, and a participatory democracy, so that everyone in Nicaragua can live in peace, freedom, security and dignity.
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