On behalf of 53 countries, Canada thanks the High Commissioner for his update, which sheds light on concerning developments in Nicaragua and evidences the importance of renewing the OHCHR’s monitoring mandate.
Whilst we welcome the recent release of 222 political prisoners, and thank the facilitating States, we condemn the Government of Nicaragua’s decision to strip these individuals and 94 other Nicaraguans of their citizenship and political rights. Nationality is a right, which cannot be revoked without due process.
We are troubled by the testimonies of mistreatment of released political prisoners. We urge the authorities to cease arbitrary detention and release all remaining political prisoners, including leaders of the Catholic Church.
We are further alarmed by the deteriorating human rights situation of Indigenous Peoples and Afro-descendants in Nicaragua, who face increasing repression, persecution and discrimination.
We reiterate our concern over Nicaragua’s refusal to cooperate with international human rights mechanisms. We call on the authorities to grant them access in order to address and investigate allegations of human rights violations and torture, and to renew cooperation with the OHCHR.
The trend to bar and expel foreign representatives from the country only isolates Nicaragua. We call on Nicaragua to open a dialogue in good faith with the international community.
Mr. High Commissioner, what more can this Council do to bring accountability for egregious human rights violations in Nicaragua?
Sources: THX News & UK Mission to the WTO, UN and Other International Organisations (Geneva)