Sunday, June 23, 2024

U.N. Group Calls for International Sanctions Against Nicaragua’s Government

Nicaragua’s government has committed serious and systematic crimes against humanity, and a United Nations-appointed team of human rights experts is calling for international sanctions against the government.

The three-person body said the government has committed, and continues to commit, acts of torture, extrajudicial executions, and arbitrary detention since 2018.

Experts say they had documented over 100 cases of executions, hundreds of cases of torture and arbitrary detention, and thousands of cases of political persecution.

It names President Daniel Ortega, Vice President Rosario Murillo, and his wife as participants in the violations and calls for international legal action against those involved.

“The objective (of the government) is to eliminate by different means any opposing or dissenting voices in the country,” Jan Simon, Chair of the Group of Human Rights Experts on Nicaragua, told journalists, saying the government was “weaponizing the functions of the state against the population.”

“This has resulted in the Nicaraguan population living in fear,” he said.

Ortega, age 77, first came to power as a left-wing Sandinista guerrilla movement leader that overthrew the Somoza dictatorship in the 1970s revolution. He was in and out of office over the years but retook power in 2007 and has ruled ever since.

Human rights groups and the political opposition have long accused his government of severely repressing civic freedoms and his opponents to win elections and keep his grip on the country.

Simon said the crisis in Nicaragua risks getting worse and warned of a “humanitarian crisis” ahead.

“We are very concerned with the present situation,” he said.

NBC News