The United States government announced the ban of 93 visas this Monday, June 13, including Nicaraguan officials, judges, prosecutors, members of the National Assembly and officials from the Ministry of the Interior, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
Blinken said sanctioned people “undermined democracy following the illegal re-election of Daniel Ortega in November 2021.” He harshly questioned the regime’s judges and prosecutors to debate the sanctions, while legislators and officials of the Interior held him responsible for the persecution of civil society organizations.
Blinken explained, “Judges and prosecutors aligned with the regime in the Ortega Murillo regime’s efforts to undermine democracy through their involvement in the trials and convictions of opposition leaders, human rights defenders, private sector leaders and student advocates.” collusion share.”
The United States stands strong against the human rights abuses of the Ortega-Murillo regime and the oppression and neglect of the Nicaraguan people. to reiterate our commitment @StateDept Put additional visa restrictions on those who undermine democracy in Nicaragua.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) 13 June 2022
The head of US diplomacy recalled that prisoners of conscience suffer from a lack of adequate food, medical care and even sunlight. He recalled the death of a retired general, Hugo Torres, and the isolated situation in which officers held the rest, for which he demanded the immediate and unconditional release of prisoners.
“Political prisoners under house arrest are also abused and cannot choose their own health care providers or receive visitors. Corrupt judicial and security systems of governance have forced these civic leaders and human rights defenders to speak the truth, practice courageous journalism, protect their communities through the work of NGOs, and publicly advocate for an alternative to government. Arrested and prosecuted. Repression of the regime,” said Blinken.
Read: Relatives of political prisoners: “Atrocities and brutal treatment continue in El Chipote”
harassment of non-governmental organizations
The Secretary of State called for “authoritarian control over Nicaraguan citizens and institutions through the use of repressive laws to strip more than 400 NGOs and a dozen universities of their legal status” to participate in the reinforcement of deputies and government officials. blamed.
New criticisms of the justice system, on the part of US officials, coincide with calls by the European Parliament for the EU to ban 14 judges and three appeals magistrates, whom they point to as participating in the sentencing of political prisoners. Huh.
Last week, during the US summit, Brian Nicholls, the Under Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, warned that the US would respond with sanctions if the Nicaraguan executive did not make “deep changes”.
Since the 2018 state repression that killed 355 people in Nicaragua, the White House has imposed personal sanctions on members closest to Ortega’s leadership, beginning with Vice President Rosario Murillo and his four children.
The dictatorship has said without evidence that the coup was the target of heightened repression and puts more than 180 political prisoners behind bars.