World Movement Condemns Attack on Nicaraguan Civil Society Leader Felix Maradiaga

Country: Nicaragua
July 13, 2018

The World Movement for Democracy strongly condemns the attack on Felix Maradiaga, executive director of Nicaraguan non-governmental organization Instituto de Estudios Estrategicos y Politicas Publicas (IEEPP), by a Sandinista mob on Wednesday, July 10, 2018. Maradiaga was meeting with other members of civil society in the city of León when they were attacked by the pro-government youth. Reports by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) indicate that he faced multiple incidents of harassment in the days prior to the attack. Threats announcing the intention to assassinate Maradiaga surfaced on social media, and hooded men temporarily detained him after stopping his car on the highway.

“It is urgent that the State of Nicaragua adopt measures to prevent any attack against the beneficiaries and that…events such as those reported against Mr. Maradiaga are not repeated…It is essential that the State of Nicaragua guarantees that human rights defenders can carry out their work of reporting and documenting the human rights situation freely and in conditions of security,” remarked Commissioner Francisco Eguiguren of the IACHR.

This attack occurred amidst the rising incidence of violence against members of civil society who hold dissenting views in Nicaragua. Events like these present a clear threat to the internationally-protected rights of freedom of assembly and association and freedom of expression of Nicaraguan citizens. Although members of civil society were hopeful that the involvement of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) would result in greater respect for human rights in the country, the continued attacks on activists indicate a dangerous future for civic space.

The World Movement urges authorities to investigate and address the systematic violence against human rights defenders and civil society leaders in Nicaragua. Moreover, we call on the government to fully implement the recommendations of the IACHR and to resume dialogue with civil society organizations towards the full restoration of the rule of law and a process of democratic transition. Join us in telling the government of Nicaragua that the international community will not tolerate reprisals against members of civil society who express dissenting views.