Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Ortega's Repression

Police and authorities in Nicaragua have used "unacceptable" lethal force against civilian protestors, says the UN's human rights office as it called for a halt to violence in which an estimated 280 people have died since April. The death toll includes at least 19 police officers.

"A wide range of human rights violations are being committed including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detentions, and denying people the right to freedom of expression," UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing. "The great majority of violations are by government or armed elements who seem to be working in tandem with them," Mr Colville told Reuters, adding that the protesters were mainly peaceful though some were armed. 

Protests arose in April over a plan by President Daniel Ortega's government to trim pension benefits. The government backed down but its heavy-handed response to the demonstrations sparked a wider protest against  Ortega's rule.

 UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned groups linked to Nicaragua's government for using "unacceptable" lethal force against citizens, and urged an end to the violence. UN officials remain concerned about the effect of a law passed this week with a very broad definition of terrorism. They say it could be invoked against people simply exercising their right to protest.

No comments: