The Organization of American States (OAS) has called on Nicaragua to put an end to human rights violations and release its political prisoner in a unanimous resolution during its annual meeting in Washington.
The resolution, supported by countries including the United States, Canada, Chile, and Costa Rica, comes as the United Nations and Western governments continue to accuse President Daniel Ortega’s administration of widespread human rights abuses and its attempts to suppress opposition.
Nicaragua witnessed significant anti-government protests in 2018, leading to the arrest of hundreds of individuals. In the run-up to the 2021 presidential elections, several potential challengers to Ortega were imprisoned, while over 2,000 associations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and trade unions have been prohibited from operating since 2020.
The OAS resolution emphasizes the need for Nicaragua to halt all human rights violations, uphold civil and political rights, respect religious freedoms, maintain the rule of law, and refrain from any form of intimidation against the press, religious communities, and NGOs. Additionally, it urges the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and the revocation of rules that strip opponents of their nationality. Over 200 individuals have been exiled to the United States this year alone due to such measures.
In response to the OAS’s refusal to recognize the 2021 elections, Nicaragua has requested to withdraw from the organization, with the departure expected to be finalized in November. The OAS has previously passed similar resolutions targeting Ortega’s government, particularly in response to reports of religious persecution within the country.