[WHRD Alert] NICARAGUA / Another round of massive closures raises the tally to 49 feminist and women’s rights organizations illegally cancelled by Daniel Ortega since 2018.

The persecution by the Daniel Ortega government of human rights defenders in Nicaragua has no end. On Tuesday, May 31st, the National Assembly of Nicaragua approved another massive cancellation of the legal standing of several different types of organizations.  This time 83 organizations were affected, including 9 feminist or women’s rights organizations:  the Nicaraguan Association for the Defense of Women (ASONICMU –ISNIN Women’s Center), the Alternative Association for the Comprehensive Development of Women (ADIM), the Women and Change Civil Research Institute,  the Estelí XILONEM Women’s Association (AMEX), the Condega Women’s Network for Comprehensive Education and Development, the Nora Astorga Women’s Association, the Fray Antonio Vaccaro Center for the Formation of Campesina Women, the Condega Collective of Women Builders, and the Specialized Women’s Assistance Center (CEAMUJER). This means that the illegal closure of 49 feminist and women’s rights organizations has taken place since April of 2018. 

As we of IM-Defensoras have denounced in previous cases, the cancellation of these organizations has been based on arbitrary procedures by the responsible institutions, which have imposed many different types of obstacles and/or have directly refused to receive the administrative documentation required by law, even which such documentation was presented in a timely fashion in correct form. The closure of organizations has included the dismantling of offices, the requisition of property, and in some cases, the criminalization, harassment, and attacks against members. 

We of IM-Defensoras will never tire of  reiterating the highly serious impact that these cancellations have on the rights of Nicaraguan women . They are left in a situation of high vulnerability and exposition to violence and the violation of their most basic human rights.   This is taking place in a country where at least 71 women were victims of femicide in 2021; where according to official data, during this same year more than 8 thousand women denounced having suffered some type of intra-familiar violence, and approximately 5 thousand denounced having been victims of sexual violence; where thousands of women work in maquiladoras for the benefit of transnational capital under extremely precarious conditions of exploitation; and where the interruption of a pregnancy has been totally criminalized since 2006, after Daniel Ortega made a pact with the Catholic hierarchy.

Once again, we condemn this arbitrary act of the neoliberal, corrupt, misogynous, and totalitarian government of Daniel Ortega against feminist and women’s rights organizations, and we stand in solidarity with these organizations.  Moreover, we will stay on the alert to any violation whatsoever of the rights and personal integrity of their members, denouncing  any such measure.

We call on the international community and all who stand in feminist solidarity to assume responsibility for these organizations; maintain awareness of the gravity of the situation experienced by human rights defenders in Nicaragua, particularly feminists and advocates of women’s rights; and raise their voices to denounce the recurrent arbitrary measures and systematic injustices perpetrated by the government to silence the voices of all who are struggling to construct a more just and egalitarian country where all persons have access to a life of dignity and the full exercise of their basic human rights. 

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