The total ban on all forms of abortion remained in force. Two thirds of rape victims whose cases were recorded between January and August 2009 were under 18. Intimidation and attacks on government critics increased, raising fears of curbs on the rights to freedom of expression and association. There were clashes between supporters of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, FSLN) and government critics throughout the year. Nicaragua remained one of a handful of states in the Americas not to have signed the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. In November a new post of Special Ombudsman for Sexual Diversity was created within the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman.
The total ban on all forms of abortion remained in force. Nicaraguan Ministry of Health figures showed an increase in maternal deaths during the first 19 weeks of 2009 as compared with the same period in 2008, rising from 20 to 33. Some 16 per cent of the 33 deaths in 2009 were due to complications following unsafe abortions; no such deaths had been recorded in the comparable period in 2008, before the law prohibiting all forms of abortion came into effect.
In May the UN Committee against Torture stated that it was "deeply concerned" that the Nicaraguan government had taken no steps to repeal the law, despite concerns having previously been expressed by three other UN committees.
The Supreme Court of Justice failed to rule on an appeal lodged in July 2008 challenging the constitutionality of the law prohibiting all forms of abortion, despite having committed itself to doing so by 6 May 2009.
Official efforts to combat violence against women and girls were ineffective. Statistics from the Women and Children's Police Unit stated that 1,259 rapes were reported between January and August of 2010. Of these, two thirds involved girls aged 17 or under.
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.
From the beginning of June, the government of President Daniel Ortega intensified its strategy for repression in a so-called “clean-up” operation, targeting protesters with arbitrary arrests, torture, and the widespread and indiscriminate use of lethal force by police and heavily armed pro-government groups, said Amnesty International today in a new report.
In response to the fatal shooting of the Brazilian medical student Raynéia Gabrielle Lima in Nicaragua on 23 July, Jurema Werneck, executive director of Amnesty International Brazil, said: “The repression of the civilian population and the violation of the right to protest in Nicaragua is unacceptable. The killing of the Brazilian national Raynéia Gabrielle Lima occurred at a time when violent …
Three months after the government of President Daniel Ortega first unleashed its lethal strategy of repression on student demonstrators on 18 April, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said: “Three months after the state repression began in Nicaragua, around 300 people have been killed – the vast majority of them by police or pro-government …
The repressive actions of the Nicaraguan government have reached deplorable levels, Amnesty International said today, after one of the bloodiest weekends since the repression of protests began almost three months ago.
In response to the government of President Daniel Ortega’s outright rejection of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ report on grave human rights violations committed in the context of the recent protests in Nicaragua, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said: “It’s shameful that the government of President Ortega is denying the undeniable. There …
Nicaragua remains mired in an ongoing cycle of violence, despite numerous efforts by Nicaraguan civil society for national dialogue and calls from international organizations to stop the grave violations of human rights committed by state agents and affiliated groups. Amnesty International has continued to monitor and document the grave human rights crisis in the country …
In a response to the “Draft Declaration of Support for the People of Nicaragua” presented by the permanent missions of the United States and Nicaragua, to be discussed and voted at the 48th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said the following:
Nicaraguan authorities have adopted a strategy of repression, characterized by the excessive use of force, extrajudicial executions, control of the media, and the use of pro-government armed groups, to crush protests in which at least 81 people have been killed, Amnesty International said in a new report released today.
Students from the National University of Engineering who were defending their campus in Managua, Nicaragua, were attacked with firearms today, confirmed Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, in a live broadcast from her Facebook account.
The Nicaraguan government must stop placing business before the future of the country and its people, Amnesty International said in a new report today looking at a secretive deal that will lead to the construction of a canal and other side projects that will affect the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people and might leave many homeless.