AFP — Nicaragua’s parliament on Wednesday banned 25 NGOs critical of the government, including a human rights commission that documented state repression of a mass 2018 demonstration.
At least 355 people died in the heavy-handed response by security services to the 2018 demonstrations, according to rights organizations, while tens of thousands fled into exile.
“The decree cancelling the legal entities” of the 25 NGOs “is approved” said parliament vice-president Arling Alonso following a vote in the legislature dominated by the ruling party.
The decree was passed with 74 votes for, none against and 15 abstentions.
The interior ministry said the NGOs “have broken the laws that regulate non-profit organizations,” having refused to register as foreign agents and inform authorities when receiving funding from abroad.
Created in 1991, the Permanent Human Rights Commission (CPDH) had documented state repression against protesters.
“There have been 45 years of permanent struggle, in which we have identified ourselves with the most vulnerable, the most mistreated,” said CPDH director Mario Carmona on Tuesday.
Carmona claimed that the interior ministry refused to receive their financial reports.
Nicaragua has convicted around 40 opposition figures since the middle of last year, including seven presidential hopefuls planning to stand against President Daniel Ortega in last November’s election.
Without any credible opposition to stand against him, former guerrilla Ortega, 76, won a fourth successive term in an election branded a “farce” by many in the international community.
More than 165 civil organizations have been banned by the government since the 2018 protests.
Ortega’s government accuses his opponents of trying to overthrow him with the help of Washington.