The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on Friday denounced “the repressive action of the State” in Nicaragua, responsible for at least 212 deaths in two months of protests against President Daniel Ortega.
“The repressive action of the state has killed at least 212 people on June 19 and 1,337 wounded,” the commission said, adding that more than 500 people were detained on 6 June.
In a highly anticipated report presented at a special session of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, the IACHR concluded that “State violence was intended to deter participation in demonstrations and to stifle this expression. political opposition “.
This new report is published after a week of violent assaults by law enforcement to regain control of several cities in the country including Masaya, 35 kilometers south of Managua, declared Monday in rebellion by its inhabitants.
Friday the commune of 100,000 inhabitants, besieged these last days by paramilitary groups strongly armed, woke up in a relative calm, fruit of the meeting the day before between the police commissioner Ramon Avellan and the Catholic bishops, came in emergency to avoid a new massacre “.
The commissioner has promised the release of people arrested in connection with the protest, which began on 18 April and targets the head of state Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo, vice president, accused of confiscating power and to restrain liberties.
“We are waiting for them to hand over the arrested people to Masaya and neighboring towns, we do not know how many there are,” Alvaro Leiva, secretary of the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights, told AFP. man (ANPD).
The bishops, greeted Thursday by thousands of residents in the streets of Masaya, and the ANDP have also taken steps to obtain the release of young protesters held in El Chipote prison in central Managua.
“We mothers are heartbroken. Free our boys, “said a desperate woman Friday morning at the gates of the prison.
Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, head of the bishops’ mission with the Apostolic Nuncio Waldemar Stanislaw, said he hoped that Commissioner Avellan would abide by his commitment to “suspend all persecution” against the city of Masaya and release the detainees.
But pro-government militias – masked and heavily armed men – continued Friday to monitor access to many cities in the country and dismantle the barricades erected by the inhabitants.
Canada “condemns” government repression
The Canadian government “condemned” Friday the repression of anti-government demonstrations in Nicaragua “by state security forces and paramilitary groups” and urged the government “to protect the right of its citizens to demonstrate peacefully and safely.”
“We condemn the killings of unarmed protesters by state security forces and paramilitary groups and the crackdowns in Managua and Masaya,” said Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.
“The civilian population suffers daily intimidation of these forces. The manifest lack of justice and the impunity of these crimes are unacceptable. The perpetrators of these acts must be held responsible, “she said in a statement.
“We urge the Government of Nicaragua to protect the right of its citizens to demonstrate peacefully and safely. Democratic and personal rights must be respected, “said Freeland.