Preliminary IACHR report documents disproportionate use of force during demonstrations in Nicaragua in April of 2018

Nicaraguan Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders – In an intense few days, a delegation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) visited several different cities and interviewed authorities of the Nicaraguan government, as well as citizens affected by the repression unleashed to contain people’s protests beginning last April 18th. On Monday, May 21, 2018, the Commission presented a Preliminary Report containing conclusions and recommendations resulting from its investigations in the country.

It is important to note that the press conference was not only attended by official and independent news media, but also by social movements and human rights organizations that have filed complaints with the Commission.

According to the information in the hands of the IACHR, since April 18th, there have been at least 76 deaths and 868 people wounded. Of these, 5 continue to suffer extremely serious wounds. As many as 438 people were arrested, including students and women human rights defenders. In its statement, the IACHR vigorously urged the Nicaraguan government to diligently investigate these facts, prosecute and sanction the responsible parties, and redress the damages suffered by the victims of human rights violations.

As a result of its investigations, The IACHR proposed 15 important recommendations in its Preliminary Report. They are summarized as follows:

1- Put an immediate end to repression

2- Guarantee the right to peaceful protest

3- Create an international investigation mechanism

4- Guarantee the lives of all demonstrators, especially students

5- Offer guarantees to protect those who filed complaints, and abstain from reprisals

6- Adopt measures to investigate all those responsable for acts of violence and respect guarantees of due process

7- Assure that all security operations are performed according to international standards

8- Dismantle para-police groups and adopt measures to prevent them from continuing to operate

9- Respect the right of independence of the news media

10- Abstain from public statements that stigmatize persons; protect those who are at risk

11- Systematize information on persons attended at public and private hospitals

12- Investigate complaints of hampering health care

13- Ratify all international human rights instruments

14- Mantain openess to international scrutiny, opening doors to all bodies, including the United Nations

15- Commit to employ monitoring mechanism to verify implementation of recommendations and program a calendar for new visits

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