Nicaragua bans five more NGOs critical of the government

Managua - By Sinikka Tarvainen, – Nicaragua's parliament on Thursday revoked the legal status of five non-governmental organizations critical of the government, bringing the total to nine, parliamentary sources said.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) called the move "worrying," while the German government said it amounted to a ban.
The NGOs included the social development foundation Popol Na; the Center of Investigations of Communication (CINCO), headed by journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro; and the Leadership Institute of Las Segovias (ILSS), led by human rights activist Haydee Castillo.
The others were the IPADE, which promotes democracy and economic development, and the environmental organization Fundacion del Rio.
According to parliament, which is dominated by President Daniel Ortega's Frente Sandinista party, the NGOs committed illegal acts, disrupted public order and promoted goals for which they were not created.
The move came one day after two other NGOs, Hagamos Democracia and the prominent human rights group Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH), were also stripped of their legal status.
Parliament had earlier targeted the Centre for Health Information and Advisory Services (CISAS), headed by feminist Ana Quiros, and the Institute for Strategic Studies and Public Policy (EEPP), led by political scientist Felix Maradiaga.
The IACHR tweeted that the freedom of association "is an essential tool for the existence and functioning of a democratic society."
The German government's commissioner for human rights policy, Baerbel Kofler, called on the authorities to "facilitate the important work of human rights organizations and a return to national dialogue."
The Central American country has been in turmoil since April, when protests erupted against a social security reform. Ortega has cracked down on demonstrations and the opposition with a heavy hand. More than 500 people have killed, over 4,000 injured and more than 600 arrested, according to figures given by human rights activists.


Thursday, December 13th 2018
By Sinikka Tarvainen,

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