Seven Latin American countries "question the legitimacy" of the next elections in Nicaragua

“The events that have occurred in recent months cast doubt on legitimacy and would make it very difficult to evaluate the upcoming elections on November 7 in Nicaragua as free, fair and transparent”, declared before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, through a joint declaration, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru.

“The escalation of human rights violations as the November elections approach is of particular concern,” says the declaration, also signed by the members of the European Union, and among others by Ukraine, Georgia, the United Kingdom, South Korea, New Zealand, Montenegro, Norway, Macedonia, Australia, the Marshall Islands, Switzerland and the United States.

The document, read by Ecuador, expresses its concern “about the reports on arbitrary arrests and intimidation widespread against political opponents, student leaders and civil society leaders, journalists and human rights defenders ”, and specifies that“ the number of detainees and reports of intimidation continue to increase ”.

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The text adds the concern for “recently enacted laws that threaten political participation, freedom of the media, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, the separation of powers and the democratic system as a whole ”. Consequently, it calls for the release “immediately of all political detainees”, and that they not suffer “reprisals” or “acts of intimidation”.

Signed by 51 States in total, this kind of manifesto seeks to align itself with “the protection of human rights”, to hold “those responsible for the human rights violations perpetrated since April 2018” accountable, in order to resume “the dialogue with the international community ”and re-establish“ trust and respect for democracy in the country ”.

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The intervention was the reception of a new report on Nicaragua, carried out by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who listed having evidence on 16 arbitrary detentions committed from June 22 to September 6, “including political leaders, human rights defenders, businessmen, journalists and peasant and student leaders who join another 20 people arrested as of May 28 ”.

Bachelet added the arbitrary cancellation “the legal personality of the Citizens for Freedom party”, and the “cessation of the printed edition of the newspaper La Prensa due to the retention of paper by the customs authority”, the seizure of its assets and detaining to your general manager. It also recorded the threats against 12 “journalists and media workers”, whose number, according to civil society sources, would extend to “more than 30”.

In this context, Mexico advocated guaranteeing “full respect for civil and political rights in the context of the elections that will take place in November,” and Argentina It urged that Nicaragua allow “the entry into its territory of the Office of the High Commissioner in order to fulfill her mandate, which includes technical advice to guarantee the exercise of all human rights.”

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