The UN Office for Human Rights has denounced that the restrictions and violations of freedoms and rights by Daniel Ortega’s government have “created an environment that is not very conducive to holding authentic and free elections” in Nicaragua, which it did to the authorities has claimed to reverse the current policy “urgently”.
The UN’s Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada al Nashif, updated Tuesday’s report on the situation in the Central American country following the November 7 elections, in which Ortega won the day without rivals to speak of.
These elections “presented Nicaragua with a valuable opportunity to take a step towards a peaceful and democratic resolution to the political, social and human rights crisis that has affected the country since 2018,” but they ultimately showed the opposite.
The United Nations distorted the Nicaraguan authorities by “arbitrarily” excluding candidates, “especially those who disagreed with the ruling party, so that seven opposition candidates were arrested and therefore unable to appear”. the elections.
There are a total of 39 cases of “arbitrary detention” at the United Nations based on “legislation incompatible with international human rights standards” and questionable legal proceedings. Ten political activists and journalists were arrested during the election weekend and in the days that followed, and only three were released.
Al Nashif has specifically warned of cases where detainees are held out of contact for more than three months – some in isolation – and has pointed out that these types of conditions “pose a real threat to their physical and mental integrity and are cruel and inhumane or degrading treatment or even torture “.
The UN’s suspicions also extend to the electoral authorities for believing that “independence and impartiality” are not guaranteed, while questioning restrictions on freedom of expression and association.
The authorities closed four political parties and 45 NGOs in the months leading up to the election, while journalists were banned in the days leading up to the election. The meeting was also not attended by observers from the Organization of American States (OAS).
“For an election to properly serve its public purpose, it is essential that the authorities guarantee candidates a safe and conducive environment in which to present their visions and policy proposals for the country and for the voters in their seats and spread. express their will freely without arbitrary restrictions, ”said Al Nashif.
In general, the UN believes that the environment “was not very conducive” to holding “authentic and free elections” and calls on the Ortega government to “urgently restore public rights and freedoms and the impartial rule of law” and for applying internally international standards for human rights.
The Deputy High Commissioner called for the “immediate” release of “all those arbitrarily detained” and for the full restoration of their civil and political rights. In addition, “the arbitrarily withdrawn legal personality of political parties and civil society organizations must be restored”.