#WHRDAlert NICARAGUA / Police, paramilitary forces and State institutions threaten, harass and violate rights of released political prisoner Tania Muñoz

Tania Verónica Muñoz Pavón

Released political prisoner

Defense of the right to protest

Attacks experienced
Threats, harassment, criminalization

THE FACTS – The released political prisoner Tania Muñoz has denounced the fact that for the last seven months, she has experienced harassment by police and paramilitary forces. This includes surveillance conducted outside her home and the home of her husband, where her pregnant daughter lives. The situation has worsened during the last few days with the perpetration of different forms of abuse.

On Thursday, January 16, while Tania was being interviewed in her home by journalist Noel Miranda of the news media Article 66, members of the Citizen Power Councils (CPCs) in the neighborhood called the police, who tried to arrest the journalist. That same afternoon, a CPC member threatened to have Tania beaten and charged with a criminal offense, which would prompt her return to prison on the false accusations of making “snide remarks” and harassment.

The following day, Friday, January 17, employees of the Nicaraguan Water Supply and Sewerage Company (Enacal) inexplicably cut wàter service to the home of Tania Muñoz even though her brother had reached a payment settlement deemed necessary because ever since last year, her receipts had been altered. According to Tania, the Enacal action is a reprisal for her activism and for accusations she has made regarding the harassment and surveillance she and her family have suffered.

Tania Muñoz was arrested along with her sister Olesia Muñoz in July of 2018, imprisoned, and criminalized for supporting and assisting university students participating in anti-government protests as of April 2018. She was condemned to 26 years in prison on fabricated charges of terrorism, aggravated damages, and aggravated robbery, among others. Her means of subsistence at that time, a bread and pastry business in the Granada market, was confiscated by the government. Furthermore, during the entire time that she was incarcerated up until May 20, 2019, she was subjected to beatings, torture, and cruel and unusual punishment, which prompted the Inter-American Court to grant her provisional precautionary measures.

The cases of harassment, surveillance and threats against released political prisoners and their famílies by police agents and other State officials, including paramilitary agents and government sympathizers, are a recurrent, systematic reality that we have denounced in many other cases in which basic rights have been violated with serious implications for the lives of those affected.

We of IM-Defensoras demand an end to the harassment of Tania Muñoz and hold the Nicaraguan government responsible for any harm done to her physical, moral or patrimonial integrity or to that of any member of her family.

We call on the international community to stay abreast of the situation in Nicaragua, where the socio-political and human rights crisis initiated in April of 2018 is ongoing in a general context of the violation of the population’s most basic rights, repression, violence and political persecution against persons and organizations that are critical of the government or engage in the defense of human rights.

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