With the closure of spaces for civil society to protest and particularly the criminalization of human rights defenders by the Ortega’s regime, twelve organizations joined together to form the “International Observatory of the Human Rights Situation in Nicaragua.”
The space for collaboration and coordination is formed by international organizations with extensive experience in the defense and promotion of human rights in various regions of the world, including the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL).
The Observatory is also made up by Civicus-World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Urgent Action Fund-Latin America (FAU-AL), Front Line Defenders, Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF), EU-LAT Network, JASS (Just Associates).
It is also integrated by the Mesoamerican Women’s Human Rights Defenders Initiative, Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World), International Platform against Impunity, Race and Equality, Protection Unit for Human Rights Defenders of Guatemala, and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).
In December the regime cancelled the legal status of nine civil society organizations among whom stands out the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh), which has an extensive experience supporting citizens in the face of violations of their rights.
The violations continue
The Observatory is constituted by virtue of the described context and since the crisis continues and is increasing. It is imperative for international civil society to continue and reinforce its work of supervision and monitoring of the human rights situation in a coordinated, constant and proactive manner,” they explain in their statement.
The recently created Observatory points out that April 18, 2018, “marked a turning point in the recent history of Nicaragua, with the outbreak of a political and social crisis that generated a strong impact on the human rights guarantees of the Nicaraguan population.”
They insist that nine months after the beginning of this human rights crisis, the repression carried out by the Ortega regime “against demonstrators, leaders, human rights organizations and social movements continues, making the spaces for social participation and the defense of human rights to become more difficult to sustain.”