The EU thanks the High Commissioner for her update. We share her deep concern over the continued repression against political opponents, human rights defenders, including women and LGBTI human rights defenders, journalists, other media workers and civil society in Nicaragua. The EU deeply regrets that the Government has not taken any steps to address the concerns raised by this Council, nor to implement the recommendations put forward by the Office of the High Commissioner, including those aimed at guaranteeing free, fair and transparent elections. On this point, the EU calls for an urgent and inclusive dialogue on electoral reforms with the Nicaraguan opposition as an essential step to restore trust. The recommendations of the 2011 EU Electoral Observation Mission are still valid.
To the contrary, recent legislation, such as the Foreign Agents Registration Law, the Special Law on Cybercrime and the “law for the rights of the people to independence, Sovereignty and self-determination for Peace”, the reform of the penal code, as well as the recent constitutional reform to introduce life imprisonment for imprecisely defined “hate crimes”, disregard civil and political rights and represent a further step away from the rule of law.
Reports of torture, arbitrary detention, increased violence against women and girls and indigenous peoples with widespread impunity for perpetrators leave no doubt that the human rights situation in the country remains critical. Nicaragua’s lack of cooperation with the regional and international human rights mechanisms underscores the need for a continued monitoring mandate for the OHCHR, with regular updates to the HRC. The EU welcomes the draft resolution presented to the Council in this session and stands ready to lend the core group its full support.
The EU calls on the Nicaraguan government to urgently address the multidimensional crisis and resume its cooperation with OHCHR and regional human rights mechanisms, including by granting them access to the country, particularly ahead of the elections scheduled to take place in November.
Madam High Commissioner, we would welcome further details on any ongoing discussions or the availability of channels with the government to discuss human rights and the recommendations contained in your 2019 report.