Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (9 July):
We condemn the surge in repressions in Nicaragua and the arbitrary arrests in the country in particular. Nicaragua is becoming increasingly isolated on the international stage. We call for the release of all political prisoners without delay as well as the return to the rule of law.
I wish to remind the Government of Nicaragua of its international commitment to uphold universal human rights.
Since 2 June, there has been a wave of arrests of a number of prominent opposition figures (including Cristiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Dora María Téllez, Felix Maradiaga and Medardo Mairena), 26 people to date, of whom six are potential presidential candidates for the elections in November, as well as repressions against NGOs critical of the government, journalists, student leaders and private sector associations. The most recent violations have taken place on the basis of laws passed by the Sandinista majority in parliament at the end of last year that seek to restrict opposition activities, such as the law regulating foreign agents (“Ley Putin”), the special law against cyber crime and, above all, the “law for the defence of the people” (“Ley Guillotina”). This law is being used to exclude all promising candidates from the election at will and to appoint hand-picked candidates.
There has not been a functioning separation of powers in Nicaragua for years. The democratic change hoped for in the elections in November 2021 no longer seems conceivable.