Motion for a resolution - B8-0244/2018Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Nicaragua

28.5.2018 - (2018/2711(RSP))

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
pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Luis de Grandes Pascual, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Gabriel Mato, Cristian Dan Preda, Lorenzo Cesa, Esteban González Pons, David McAllister, Francisco José Millán Mon, Tunne Kelam, Ivan Štefanec, Eduard Kukan on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0244/2018

Procedure : 2018/2711(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Nicaragua


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Nicaragua, in particular that of 16 February 2017[1],

–  having regard to the statements by the spokesperson of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) of 22 April 2018 and of 15 May 2018 on Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the press release of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) of 27 April 2018 on the human rights situation in Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the visit of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) from 17 to 21 May 2018 to investigate the situation in Nicaragua and its preliminary statement of 21 May 2018,

–  having regard to the statement by UN Human Rights Office Spokesperson Liz Throssell of 20 April 2018 on the Nicaragua protest violence,

–  having regard to the press release of the Organisation of American States (OAS) of 14 May 2018 on the visit to investigate the situation in Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the report of the General Secretariat of the Organisation of American States on Nicaragua of 20 January 2017,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas reportedly at least 76 people have been killed, more than 868 injured and 438 arrested as a result of the protests that started on 18 April 2018 as opposition to the social security reforms announced by President Daniel Ortega; whereas Nicaragua’s Vice-President Rosario Murillo has openly stigmatised protestors, calling them ‘vandals’ and accusing them of ‘political manipulation’;

B.  whereas the high number of casualties demonstrates the brutal repression used by the state authorities, violating the principles of necessity and proportionality as required under international law and standards setting out limitations to the use of force; whereas the chief of the National Police of Nicaragua, Aminta Granera, has resigned due to the excessive use of violence;

C.  whereas media outlets covering the protests were arbitrarily shut down by the government and journalists who expressed any form of opposition were intimidated and detained; whereas the Nicaraguan authorities’ crackdown on free speech and the harassment against opposition leaders has been condemned as an attack on civil liberties; whereas the journalist Angel Gahona was shot dead while presenting a live broadcast;

D.  whereas the national dialogue between Mr Ortega and Nicaraguan opposition and civic groups mediated by the Catholic Church, launched on 16 May 2018, failed to find a solution to the crisis and was indefinitely suspended; whereas the government’s rejection of early elections is the major stumbling block;

E.  whereas since taking office in 2007, Mr Ortega has been re-elected in three consecutive elections, despite the fact that the Constitution of Nicaragua prohibited consecutive re-election, demonstrating the corruption and authoritarianism into which the state has descended; whereas the elections in 2011 and 2016 were highly criticised for their irregularities by the EU institutions and the OAS, having been conducted without the presence of observers from either organisation or any other credible international observers;

F.  whereas public sector corruption, including corruption involving relatives of Mr Ortega, remains one of the biggest challenges; whereas bribery of public officials, unlawful seizures and arbitrary assessments by customs and tax authorities are very common;

1.  Condemns the brutal repression and intimidation of protestors, which has resulted in many deaths, disappearances and arbitrary arrests perpetrated by the Nicaraguan authorities and the group of members of the Sandinista National Liberation Front;

2.  Expresses its condolences and sympathy to the families of all the victims killed and injured during the demonstrations;

3.  Calls on the Nicaraguan authorities to cease all acts of violence against people exercising the right to freedom of expression and the right of assembly; urges the Nicaraguan authorities to release all arbitrarily detained people and provide guarantees that no criminal action will be taken against them;

4.  Calls on the Nicaraguan authorities to immediately allow an international, independent and transparent investigation in order to prosecute those responsible for the repression and deaths during the protests; welcomes, in this regard, the IACHR visit to Nicaragua and expresses its concern over the conclusions of the preliminary report; urges the international community to play an active role in holding those responsible to account;

5.  Urges the Nicaraguan authorities to provide all actors in society, including opposition forces, journalists and civil society, with sufficient space to operate freely, under international law, in order to set the stage for all opposing sides to discuss the situation in Nicaragua and uphold the human rights situation in the country; recalls that the depolarisation of the judiciary, the end of impunity and the plurality of the media are essential factors in restoring democratic order to the country;

6.  Regrets the failure of the national dialogue due to the restraints imposed by the Nicaraguan Government;

7.  Denounces the illegal steps taken in violation of the judicial system which have led to constitutional changes removing presidential term limits and so allowed the continuous presidency of Mr Ortega, in clear breach of the right to democratic elections; stresses the need for strong democratic institutions, freedom of assembly and political plurality; calls, in this regard, for electoral reform resulting in fair, transparent and credible elections that respect international standards, as the way to resolve the political crisis;

8.  Calls on the authorities to fight the rampant corruption within Nicaragua’s political circles, which impairs the functioning of all state institutions and limits foreign investment; calls for the implementation of Nicaragua’s anti-corruption legislation, including that on bribery, abuse of office and facilitation payments;

9.  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.



Last updated: 30 May 2018
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