IACHR asks the State of Nicaragua to comment on the CENIDH case
The IACHR requested Nicaragua to file an update in three months regarding a petition presented by members of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH) and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) on the illegal raid carried out at the Nicaraguan organization, the arbitrary cancellation of its legal status, and other acts of harassment, criminalization and threats which have forced several members to go into exile.
Vilma Nuñez at the initial petition's press conference in May 2020

Managua, Nicaragua and San José, Costa Rica. February 10, 2021.- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) requested the State of Nicaragua to present a report within three months regarding the aggressions and harassment faced by CENIDH workers after the democratic rupture that the country suffered in April 2018.

CENIDH is one of the main organizations that protects and promotes human rights in Nicaragua. After the beginning of the democratic crisis in April 2018, it team of human rights defenders fulfilled the fundamental task of documenting and denouncing the rights violations suffered by Nicaraguans.

To date, no investigation has taken place into the crimes reported in the initial petition. Additionally, there has been no response to the appeals of unconstitutionality and amparo filed by the organization before the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ). On the contrary, the aggressions against defenders continue.

Even more concerning, on the 29th of January, work began on the demolition of the facilities confiscated from CENIDH in Managua. In this regard, the Government of Nicaragua has not only cancelled the legal status of CENIDH, but has also illegally appropriated its assets and facilities in a context of intensified state repression against human rights defenders, as has been denounced by the IACHR in its latest communiqués.

The CENIDH case reveals the serious violations against human rights defenders and organizations in Nicaragua and makes visible the constant aggressions and harassment to which members of CENIDH have been subjected, as a result of their work in defense of rights in the country for 30 years and, in particular, since the institutional crisis of 2018.

The initial petition is the first step in a process that seeks to bring the State to trial in the Inter-American Human Rights System, of which Nicaragua is a party through its accession to the American Convention on Human Rights. With the notification to the State of the lawsuit filed against it, the IACHR will begin processing the case on February 4, 2021. The State has three months to present its observations and account for the human rights violations committed against members of CENIDH.

For CENIDH and CEJIL, the request made by the IACHR is a step forward in the search for justice for human rights defenders in Nicaragua and especially the defense of the CENIDH cause. "We are very encouraged. This already implies that there is a first examination at the international level of the situation of aggression against the right of association, against the right to defend rights and a concern about the effects on the human rights of the population that we as CENIDH accompany," said Vilma Núñez de Escorcia, President of CENIDH.