Nicaragua expels human rights experts (Dec. 20, 2018)
Nicaragua's government expelled two groups of international experts investigating allegations of human rights abuses by security forces during anti-government protests this year. The two groups affected are the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights' Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (Meseni) and the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts, or GIEI. Both are under the aegis of the OAS, and the Ortega administration said the move was in response to antagonistic statements by OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro. Technically they were suspended "until conditions of respect for sovereignty and internal affairs are re-established." However the experts were kicked out just a day before the GIEI was set to present a report on its findings. (Associated Press, AFP and El País)
The experts were asked to leave the country immediately, and were accused of spreading false information by the foreign ministry. They “faced a government that blocked and boycotted their work, by closing down all spaces for dialogue and monitoring and by denying them access to essential information in fulfilling their mandates,” said CEJIL. (Confidencial)
Nonetheless, the IACHR promised to continue its work investigating rights violations in Nicaragua. It denounced the beginning of a new phase in Nicaragua's repression, aimed at silencing, intimidating, and criminalizing government critics.
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