Annual Report: Nicaragua 2010

May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Nicaragua 2010

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  • In October, journalist and women's rights activist Patricia Orozco and two colleagues were stopped by police as they were returning from leading a training course for local women's rights promoters. The officers claimed that the women had fled from a previous checkpoint without permission. A debate ensued during which Patricia Orozco was arrested. She was taken to the police station in León and detained for four hours before being released without charge.

The next day an article about the incident was published in the government online magazine El 19. The article described the Autonomous Women's Movement, to which Patricia Orozco and one of her two colleagues belong, as "evil" and stated that Patricia Orozco and her colleagues "of uncertain gender" had been returning from a party "where men are not allowed".

Freedom of expression and association

There was a series of incidents involving attacks on journalists, government critics and civil society activists.

  • In November, pro-government supporters in Managua attacked a group of protesters demonstrating against corruption and curbs on freedom of expression. FSLN supporters threw stones at them, breaking the glass entrance door of a police station where protesters had taken refuge. None of those involved in the attack had been arrested by the end of the year. The Civil Co-ordinating Committee (Coordinadora Civil, CC), a national network of civil society groups, reported attacks and intimidation of its members by FSLN supporters.
  • In August, CC members were attacked on their way to a cultural event after discussing a proposal for alternatives to the government's existing social and economic policies. More than 30 CC members were reportedly injured.
  • Leonor Martínez, a 24-year-old member of the CC, was attacked by three armed men in October as she returned home from a press conference in Managua on human rights violations. They beat her, breaking her arm in several places, and threatened that if she carried on working with the CC they would kill her and her family. The men had allegedly been involved in previous attacks on CC members. An investigation into the attack was opened. In November, Leonor Martínez received telephone threats which referred to her work with the CC. By the end of the year, no one had been brought to justice for any of the attacks on CC members.

Amnesty International visit/reports

Amnesty International delegates visited Nicaragua in July.

The total abortion ban in Nicaragua: Women's lives and health endangered, medical professionals criminalized (27 July 2009)
The impact of the complete ban of abortion in Nicaragua: Briefing to the United Nations Committee against Torture (29 April 2009)
Nicaragua: Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review (8 September 2009)