Washington, DC—In response to reports that President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua had expelled a United Nations human rights team from the country, following the release of a highly critical report two days ago, research and advocacy group the Washington Office on Latin America released the following statement by Vice President for Programs Geoff Thale:
“The decision to kick out United Nations human rights investigators, in response to their critical report about the situation in Nicaragua, is deeply concerning. Nicaragua responded to domestic dissent by violently cracking down on protestors; now it’s responding to international criticism by expelling those who’ve exposed the government’s total disrespect for human rights. Repression hasn’t silenced dissenters inside Nicaragua, and the expulsion of the UN team won’t make the international community turn a blind eye to what’s happening inside the country.
“The Ortega government seems to be more interested in lashing out at critics rather than seeking constructive, peaceful solutions to the country’s ongoing crisis. The more intransigent that President Ortega acts, the more he will find himself increasingly isolated. This will likely become all too visible with the UN General Assembly coming up in September.”