Procedure : 2019/2978(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0254/2019

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 18/12/2019 - 21
CRE 18/12/2019 - 21

Votes :

PV 19/12/2019 - 6.6
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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<TitreSuite>to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on the situation of human rights and democracy in Nicaragua</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Javier Nart, Abir Al‑Sahlani, Petras Auštrevičius, Malik Azmani, José Ramón Bauzá Díaz, Phil Bennion, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Gilles Boyer, Sylvie Brunet, Olivier Chastel, Katalin Cseh, Jérémy Decerle, Anna Júlia Donáth, Engin Eroglu, Klemen Grošelj, Christophe Grudler, Bernard Guetta, Antony Hook, Ivars Ijabs, Ondřej Kovařík, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Nathalie Loiseau, Jan‑Christoph Oetjen, Dragoş Pîslaru, Samira Rafaela, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Monica Semedo, Susana Solís Pérez, Ramona Strugariu, Irène Tolleret, Hilde Vautmans, Marie‑Pierre Vedrenne, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou</Depute>

<Commission>{Renew}on behalf of the Renew Group</Commission>


See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0251/2019


European Parliament resolution on the situation of human rights and democracy in Nicaragua


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Nicaragua, in particular those of 18 December 2008[1], 26 November 2009[2], 16 February 2017[3], 31 May 2018[4] and of 14 March 2019[5],

 having regard to the Association Agreement between the EU and Central America of 2012,

 having regard to the EU country strategy paper and the multiannual indicative programme 2014-2020 on Nicaragua,

 having regard to the Council conclusions on Nicaragua and in particular that of 14 October 2019 establishing a framework for targeted sanctions,

 having regard to the declarations made by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on behalf of the EU on the situation in Nicaragua, and in particular that of 20 November 2019,

 having regard to the statement made by the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Rupert Colville, of 19 November 2019,

 having regard to the report from the Organisation of American States (OAS) high-level commission on Nicaragua of 19 November 2019,

 having regard to the newsletters published by the Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI) established by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights,

 having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 16 December 1966,

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,

 having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders of 14 June 2004,

 having regard to the Nicaraguan Constitution,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas human rights defenders and critics of the Nicaraguan Government’s human rights record have increasingly become the targets of death threats, intimidation, online defamation campaigns, harassment, surveillance, assault, and judicial persecution; whereas international human rights organisations have reported that more than 80 000 people have been forced to leave Nicaragua because of the current crisis and that repression in the country has become worse;

B. whereas according to the latest figures from MESENI, in Nicaragua 328 people have died and hundreds have been injured, more than 150 political prisoners remain arbitrarily detained just for exercising their rights and 144 students have been expelled from their universities for having participated in demonstrations in favour of democracy and greater freedom and respect for human rights; whereas the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has reported that more than 100 journalists and media workers have had to leave the country; whereas the Nicaraguan Government blocked newsprint imports, forcing several newspapers to close, including the iconic Nuevo Diario;

C. whereas respect for the independence of the judiciary, political pluralism, and freedom of assembly and expression are fundamental rights and essential pillars of democracy and the rule of law;

D. whereas on 14 November 2019, eight relatives of jailed political opponents, among other people, started a hunger strike inside the San Miguel church in Masaya, calling for the release of 130 individuals allegedly detained in the context of the protests; whereas these people were surrounded by the police inside the church, and the police also cut off the water and electricity to the building; whereas the police did not let anyone enter the church and prevented the delivery of humanitarian and medical assistance;

E. whereas the same night, a group of at least 13 members of the opposition were detained after delivering some water to the people surrounded by the police, including Amaya Eva Coppens, a Nicaraguan and Belgian human rights defender who was detained in the context of the protests for eight months and was released on 11 June 2019 under an amnesty law;

F. whereas the Nicaraguan Prosecutor’s Office has unfairly accused these 13 members of the opposition of several charges, including kidnapping and illegal possession of firearms and terrorism, thus demonstrating a clear lack of due process guarantees and the right to a fair trial; whereas the prison conditions in Nicaragua also fail to meet international standards adequately; whereas the use of torture and sexual violence in prison have been clearly reported by members of the Nicaraguan opposition;

G. whereas the Nicaraguan Government is intensifying its level of persecution of the families of the victims of the democratic, institutional and political crisis through intimidation surveillance in an effort to prevent them from engaging in private and public actions in memory of their loved ones and to prevent them from demanding justice;

H. whereas the Nicaraguan Government is cracking down on people who are speaking up about the human rights situation in Nicaragua and who are reaching out to international and UN officials and mechanisms;

I. whereas the Nicaraguan Government has expelled from the country international organisations that sought the peaceful resolution of the conflict and national reconciliation; whereas repression against civil society organisations has intensified by stripping them of their legal status in a country with a poor institutional framework, doubly punishing the victims of repression;

J. whereas on several occasions, some high-ranked officials from the Member States have been prevented from entering Nicaragua;

K. whereas the Nicaraguan Government has showed no interest in resuming any credible and inclusive dialogue with Nicaragua’s Civic Alliance and in fully implementing the March 2019 agreements;

L. whereas the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms must form an integral part of the EU’s external policies, including the Association Agreement between the EU and the countries of Central America of 2012; whereas this agreement includes a democratic clause, which is an essential element of the agreement; whereas under current circumstances, the democratic clause should be triggered by suspending Nicaragua from the agreement;

1. Condemns all repressive actions carried out by the Nicaraguan Government, in particular the murders, the generalised restriction of freedom of expression, assembly and demonstration, the outlawing of non-governmental organisations and civil society, the expulsion of international organisations from the country, the closure of and assaults against the media, the limitations on the right to information, and the expulsion of students from universities;

2. Urges the Nicaraguan Government to end the persistent repression of dissent and the ongoing pattern of arbitrary arrests, use of torture and sexual violence and refrain from criminalising, persecuting and attacking human rights defenders, political opponents, families of victims and any other dissenting voices; calls for prompt, impartial, transparent and thorough investigations into the violence;

3. Calls for the immediate release of all those arbitrarily detained, including Amaya Eva Coppens, for all charges to be dropped and for their fundamental legal safeguards to be respected; urges those responsible for violations of human rights, and undermining democracy and the rule of law to be held accountable;

4. Welcomes the Council’s decision to adopt the framework for targeted restrictive measures for those responsible for human rights violations, abuses or for repression of civil society and democratic opposition in Nicaragua; calls on the Member States to quickly agree on the specific list of individuals and entities to be sanctioned, including President Ortega, Vice President Rosario Murillo, their sons, Laureano and Rafael Ortega Murillo, and Ramón Antonio Avellán Medal, Deputy Director-General of the Nicaraguan National Police, who led ‘Operation Clean Up’;

5. Condemns the lack of willingness of the Nicaraguan Government to relaunch a meaningful internal dialogue; calls on the authorities to resume dialogue with Nicaragua’s Civic Alliance with a view to achieving a democratic, sustainable and peaceful solution that would allow for the full implementation of March 2019 agreements; stresses the need to guarantee political and civil freedoms for all Nicaraguans, the return of those in exile, the return of and cooperation with international organisations and the establishment of a credible electoral process, with a reformed Nicaraguan Supreme Electoral Council that would assure immediate fair and transparent elections, with the presence of international observers;

6. Asks the VP/HR and the European Union External Action Service (EEAS) Delegation to Nicaragua to closely monitor the developments that are taking place in the country and to continue to address the human rights problems arising from the situation in relation to, inter alia, prisoners, students, protesters, families of victims and journalists;

7. Calls for Parliament to send a delegation to Nicaragua as soon as possible in order to once again monitor the situation in the country and urges the Nicaraguan authorities to allow unhindered entry into the country and to grant access to all interlocutors and facilities;

8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, the Central American Parliament, the Lima Group, and the Government and Parliament of the Republic of Nicaragua.


[1] OJ C 45 E, 23.2.2010, p. 89.

[2] OJ C 285 E, 21.10.2010, p. 74

[3] OJ C 252, 18.7.2018, p. 189.

[4] Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0238.

[5] Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0219.

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