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Amnesty Urgent Actions
Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 06 Over hundred persons continue in detention
UA 082/19
Nicaragua
Abgeschlossen am 13. Juni 2019
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11.06.2019 Latest news

As some of you know, today Nicaraguan authorities released 56 persons from prison. Four persons mentioned in our UA (Amaya Coppens, Christopher Olivas, Lucía Pineda Ubau and Miguel Mora) were among those released today. We are yet to confirm whether those released were fully cleared of charges or if they were imposed with restrictions to their freedom.

Of course, the news of these releases is long overdue but this is good news for the victims and their relatives.

In spite of this, scores of those in detained in the context of protests from 2018 are still in prison so we would like to encourage you to carry on the work on this UA until they are all released.

Thank you for your support.

Over hundred persons continue in detention

AI-Index: AMR 43/0406/2019

After a year since the protests in Nicaragua erupted, at least 700 people faced criminal proceedings and over a hundred of them continue in prison, including student leaders Amaya Coppens and Christopher Olivas and journalists Lucía Pineda Ubau and Miguel Mora. A recently approved amnesty law by the Nicaraguan assembly could endanger the truth, justice and reparation of the victims of the crisis. We urge the Nicaraguan authorities to immediately release and drop all charges all those detained solely on the grounds of the exercise of their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

On 18 April 2018, after years of institutional decline in Nicaragua, protests broke out following the government’s attempt to implement unpopular and non-consulted social security reforms. These protests were met with violent repression. According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the crisis has resulted in the deaths of 325 people, including 21 police officers and 24 children and adolescents, and more than 2,000 injuries. Moreover, civil society figures stablish that more than 700 have been arrested. Besides, 300 health professionals were dismissed; 144 students have been expelled from the UNAN (National Autonomous University of Nicaragua); and over 70 journalists and media workers have been forced into exile. According to the UNHCR, about 62,000 Nicaraguans have fled to neighbouring countries, 55,000 of them seeking refuge in Costa Rica.

On 16 May 2019, Eddy Montes (57) a Nicaraguan and U.S. citizen, was shot dead at La Modelo prison in Managua. He and others who were injured were arrested for participating in the 2018 protests. An Amnesty Law was approved by the National Assembly of Nicaragua on 8 June 2019.

AI’s report «Instilling terror» (https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/amr43/9213/2018/en/) concluded that one of the central plank of this repressive policy was the Nicaraguan state's persistent efforts to criminalize opponents, referring to anyone who protested the government as «terrorists» or «coup plotters» to justify its own violent actions.

Since then, protests have continued demanding substantial change to the status quo. More than one year after the beginning of the crackdown on protest, Amnesty International continues to receive reports of arbitrary detentions and torture of persons deprived of their liberty. Civil society organizations whose legal status was cancelled by the government (including the Nicaraguan Centre for Human Rights - CENIDH) remain unable to freely carry out their work in the country, and the harassment of journalists and human rights defenders continues. Attacks against freedom of expression and peaceful assembly indicate ongoing strategy to supress dissenting voices.

See also previous UA 169/18 https://ua.amnesty.ch/urgent-actions/2018/09/169-18

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