18 October 2019 – The Nicaraguan government must end the repressive strategy it has pursued since 18 April 2018 and which currently includes implementing measures to close down, subdue or silence civil society organizations and the independent media, said Amnesty International today as it launched its campaign “What we left behind: fleeing repression in Nicaragua”.

“The international community must be clear that the human rights crisis in Nicaragua since April 2018, caused by the government of Daniel Ortega, is ongoing and that the authorities have shown no desire to ensure the population can exercise their rights. As a result of this strategy of repression, tens of thousands of people are living in exile, including human rights defenders and journalists,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

The international community must be clear that the human rights crisis in Nicaragua since April 2018, caused by the government of Daniel Ortega, is ongoing and that the authorities have shown no desire to ensure the population can exercise their rights.
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International

“With this campaign, we are urging the Nicaraguan government to stop the repression, to immediately and unconditionally release those held solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and to ensure that courageous defenders and journalists can work in a safe and conducive environment, without fear of reprisals. We will continue to raise our voice for the Nicaraguan people.”

The campaign will include petitions, events and the sharing of information and audiovisual materials containing the testimonies of people who have fled the country in the wake of the crisis, in order to highlight the human rights violations that continue to take place in Nicaragua. It will also include actions on Nicaraguan human rights defenders and journalists, such as Francisca Ramírez, Lucía Pineda Ubau and Vilma Núñez, in the framework of Amnesty International’s global campaign, “Brave”.

International human rights organizations report that more than 80,000 people have been forced to leave Nicaragua because of the current crisis. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has stated that more than 68,000 people have sought protection in Costa Rica. According to the UNHCR, Costa Rica, Panama, the USA, Spain and Mexico were the countries that received the highest number of asylum applications from people from Nicaragua in 2018.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has reported that more than 100 journalists and media workers have had to leave the country.

We urge the Nicaraguan government to stop the repression, to immediately and unconditionally release those held solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty