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Weekly Report - 16 January 2020 (WR-20-02)

NICARAGUA: More mixed signals from Ortega

A gesture of “national reconciliation”. This was how Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega dubbed his decision announced at the end of last year to release 91 political prisoners (leaving 65 still behind bars on estimates from the Unidad Nacional Azul y Blanco [Unab] opposition group). The prisoners’ release was linked to mounting international pressure on the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) government to end its crackdown on opponents and has been well received by the foreign community as well as local human rights groups and the political opposition. As previously, however, these gestures have since been undermined by other moves which again indicate a lack of genuine will on the part of the government to negotiate.

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