Nicaragua: The 46/2 Collective welcomes experts who will investigate serious human rights violations
(Geneva/Managua - May 24, 2022) - This Tuesday, May 24, the United Nations Human Rights Council elected the three people who will make up the "Group of Experts on Human Rights" which, according to the latest resolution approved by the Council , will investigate and promote accountability for the serious human rights violations committed since the beginning of the sociopolitical and human rights crisis in Nicaragua in 2018. These people will work exhaustively for a period of one year.
The 46/2 Collective warmly welcomes the lawyer Ángela Buitrago and the lawyers Jan-Michael Simon and Alexander Alvarez. Ángela Buitrago is a Colombian lawyer and former prosecutor with extensive experience in criminal law and human rights, who has carried out numerous expert reports before the Inter-American Court with a gender perspective.Jan-Michael Simon is an expert lawyer in criminal law, criminal policy, and public international law, combining research with field work and practice on issues related to human rights, the rule of law, the fight against impunity and the fight against corruption, mainly in Central America. Alexandro Álvarez is a lawyer whose practice focuses on international human rights law; He was an international consultant for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on human rights, justice and the rule of law in Nicaragua (2021-2022) and worked with the Special Follow-up Mechanism of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for Nicaragua (MESENI 2018-2021).
“From the 21 organizations that make up the 46/2 Collective, we celebrate this selection of human rights experts that the Human Rights Council has carried out and that shows the continuity of this body's commitment to the serious human rights situation in the country. The work of these people will be very important for the history of Nicaragua and the expectations are great,” said Dr. Vilma Núñez de Escorcia, President of the CENIDH organization.
This "Group of Experts on Human Rights" has the mandate to carry out exhaustive investigations of alleged human rights violations, taking into account gender dimensions, and their structural causes; likewise, it must gather, consolidate, preserve and analyze information and evidence and -if possible- identify the persons responsible; formulate recommendations ensuring a victim-centered approach and addressing the effects of multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination.
For this reason, “we consider that the selection of the Group of Experts meets the criteria of expertise in human rights, gender equity and geographical representation, necessary to have a look from sensitivity, objectivity and interdisciplinarity , for which we trust in their integrity and the results of their investigation that will contribute to Nicaragua's accountability before the national and international community for the serious human rights violations that have occurred in that country since April 2018," said Wendy Flores of the Human Rights Collective “Nicaragua Never Again”.
It should be noted that the selected experts must also work in collaboration with the Government, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), civil society, international human rights organizations, and relevant agencies of the United Nations. They will also present a report to the Human Rights Council at its 52nd session, during an interactive dialogue.
Since the beginning of the crisis, in 2018, the Ortega and Murillo regime has shown no intention of resuming its cooperation with the United Nations or with the Inter-American Human Rights System. However, "we do not lose hope that the experts will be allowed to enter the country." We encourage the government to change its position, cooperate fully with these people, and take action to lead the way out of this serious crisis”, declared Alexandra Salazar of the Legal Defense Unit (UDJ).
“The international, regional and national organizations that make up this group make ourselves available to the experts, and to the personnel assigned to them by the office of the High Commissioner, to promote and participate in the spaces and processes carried out by them to establish a flow of information on the human rights violations and cases that they will investigate within the framework of their mandate. We trust that this effort will be vital to break with impunity in the country. We continue to fight so that there is truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition in Nicaragua!”, concluded Olga Valle, Director of the organization Urnas Abiertas.
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The repression in Nicaragua has not ceased and has even intensified in the context of the fourth anniversary of the social protests of April 2018. Recently, the authorities have arbitrarily detained and expelled from the country singers and music producers who used artistic expression to denounce the human rights violations that continue to occur in the country. Likewise, the Nicaraguan justice system continues to carry out judicial processes that do not respect the minimum guarantees of due process and criminalize freedom of expression, association, and participation in public affairs. These people, without exception, have been sentenced for political reasons under legal provisions that are incompatible with international human rights standards and continue to be deprived of their liberty in conditions that endanger their lives and physical integrity, with profound impacts on them and their families. In the case of women, different consequences have been observed based on their gender, such as greater isolation, psychological torture based on maternity roles, among others.
The 46/2 Collective has periodically monitored, documented, and informed the international community about the lack of actions by the Government of Nicaragua to address its international obligations in the area of human rights and the concerns of the international community in this matter. The Collective has encouraged the member states of the UN Human Rights Council to appoint a group of international experts to investigate the human rights crisis that has been going on in the country since April 2018. For security reasons, we cannot provide the names of all the member organizations of the Collective. More information: https://www.mecanismoparanicaragua.org/