"I am extremely alarmed by the announcement by the Nicaraguan Government that it has told two key human rights institutions set up by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) to leave the country.
After the earlier cancellation of the registration and confiscation of properties of national NGOs working on human rights, the de facto expulsion of the two IACHR organizations – MESENI and the GIEI*, which were set up in full cooperation with the Government after the violence and unrest earlier this year – means there are now virtually no functioning independent human rights bodies left in Nicaragua.
In addition, the Government has said it will no longer accept visits by the IACHR itself.
Coupled with the parallel clamp-down on independent media, including last weekend’s raids on media outlets, the net result is a country where civil society is in danger of being shut out altogether, and international organizations are also struggling to keep operating.
These actions by the Government make resolution of the crisis affecting the country much more difficult and risk blocking all dialogue within the country, with neighbouring states and with the international community at large, with possible wide-ranging consequences.
I hope we can find some common ground with the Government to reverse this trend."
* MESENI is Spanish acronym for the IACHR’s Follow-up Mechanism for Nicaragua. The GIEI is the acronym for the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts, which was expected to present its final report in the capital Managua on 20 December.