Weekly Report - 10 February 2022 (WR-22-06)

NICARAGUA: Trials of political prisoners begin

Nicaragua’s attorney general’s office has announced the start of trials of political prisoners, which include those arrested ahead of the November 2021 general election which produced a victory for President Daniel Ortega but was widely slammed as a “sham” [WR-21-46]. Days after the attorney general’s office made its announcement, a string of prominent opposition figures had already received lengthy prison sentences for crimes including money laundering and “undermining national integrity” (in line with a controversial December 2020 law [1055] which sanctions acts that “undermine Nicaragua’s sovereignty and independence”). Condemned as a “farce” by prisoners’ relatives and human rights groups who warn of a serious breach of constitutional guarantees, the trials will subject the Ortega government, increasingly isolated since the controversial November vote, to further human rights and democracy-related criticism.

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