#WHRDAlert NICARAGUA / Arbitrary arrest of more than 20 women human rights defenders and demonstrators reclaiming right to peaceful protest

Women human rights defenders and demonstrators exercize right to rally peacefully

Defense of human and political rights

Attack experienced
Arbitrary arrest

THE FACTS – On Sunday morning October 14th in Managua, the National Police arbitrarily arrested more than 20 persons engaged in the right to hold a peaceful demonstration demanding freedom for political prisoners in Nicaragua. Among those arrested were at least 13 women, including widely recognized human rights defenders, feminists and social activists Tamara Dávila, Ana Margarita Vijil, Ana Lucía Alvárez, Suyen Barahona, Marlen Chow and Alejandra Machado Blandón.

It was reported that the preliminary list of those arrested also included Alba Aragón, Geisel Solis, Marcela Martínez, María de los Ángeles Gutierrez, María Dolores Monge, Sandra Cuadra, Marvin Reyes, Allan Cordero, Andrés Reyes, Ángel Miranda, Francisco Ortega, Freddy Ramírez, Gustavo Vargas, Gustavo Argüello, Irving Dávila, José Antonio Peraza, Mauricio Ríos, Orlando Rafael, Ramiro Lacayo and Salvador Berrios.

These arrests followed a threat by the National Police to prohibit any unauthorized protest action. The announcement violates Article 53 of the Constitution of Nicaragua, which acknowledges the right to gather peacefully without previous permission.

Accordingly, we of IM-Defensoras condemn and denounce these detentions as illegal and a highly serious infringement of the human and political rights of those arrested. We demand their immediate release as well as respect for their physical and moral integrity, and we hold the State responsible for anything that may befall them.

We urge the international community to keep your eyes on the grave crisis of political and human rights that Nicaragua has been experiencing since last April. Far from being resolved, it is now being aggravated by government strategies aimed at criminalizing social protests and the defense of human rights, and by the cancellation of basic political rights established in the Constitution and international human rights norms.

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