Nicaragua: Statement by the Spokesperson on the sentencing of political prisoners
(am Ende Link zum Text in Spanisch)
In recent weeks, Nicaraguan courts have handed down guilty verdicts and harsh sentences to political prisoners, after closed-door trials.
The judges and prosecutors in these trials have consistently violated due process and Nicaragua’s own penal code; the presumption of innocence was violated by the Office of the Prosecutor in a public note, calling those detained “criminals” and “offenders”.
As mentioned by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and by the UN Human Rights Council’s Special Procedures mandate holders, those imprisoned were detained on grounds incompatible with international human rights standards and with Nicaragua’s Constitution. Many of the political prisoners have been kept incommunicado for over eight months, some of them facing daily interrogations or extended solitary confinement. They have seen their families on rare occasions only. As the UN has repeatedly noted, such conditions of detention pose real risks to the prisoners’ physical and mental integrity and may amount to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, or even torture.
We expect the Nicaraguan Government to immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners and to annul all legal proceedings against them, including their sentences. We also hold the Government responsible for ensuring that conditions of detention comply with its international human rights obligations and with standards such as the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners -the Mandela rules. We note that that since the death in detention of Hugo Torres on 12 February, some elderly and ailing detainees have been assigned to house arrest, but this can only be a first step.
Since 2018, the Nicaraguan Government has carried out systematic incarceration, harassment and intimidation of presidential pre-candidates, opposition leaders, student and rural leaders, journalists, human rights defenders and business representatives.
The European Union will continue to monitor the situation closely and support the people of Nicaragua in their legitimate aspiration for democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law.
(1) Tilly Metz MEP auf Twitter: „Somos 38 eurodiputados que exigimos la liberación inmediata e incondicional de los 169 presos políticos arbitrariamente detenidos en #Nicaragua y atención médica en los casos de los presos políticos particularmente vulnerables. Leer más aquí: https://t.co/ML15XanVNJ“ / Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MetzTilly/status/1511379523060838405?t=-o6tqbIVqWe24_5e2iowLQ&s=08