Riot police are seen in Managua, Nicaragua Riot police are seen in Managua, Nicaragua  (AFP or licensors)

Holy See urges Nicaragua to promote peaceful coexistence, respect for rights

Addressing the 52th Session of the Human Rights Council, Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, expresses the Holy See’s concern about the deterioration of the socio-political and human rights situation in Nicaragua.

By Vatican News staff reporter

The Holy See has taken note of the Report of the Group of Human Rights Experts on Nicaragua, and “expresses deep concern about the upsurge of violence across the country, and the shrinking of space for dialogue and negotiations between authorities and civil society in recent years”.

Speaking in Geneva on Wednesday during the 52st Session of the Human Rights Council, Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu said that “it is with concern that we read in the Report about the deterioration of the socio-political and human rights situation in Nicaragua, with increased restrictions on freedoms of expression, of peaceful assembly and association, along with repressive measures against critics of the government, journalists and human rights defenders, as well as members of the Catholic Church”.

Violations of due process

The Vatican Observer to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva stressed “the reported closure of several independent media outlets and non-governmental organizations, including faithbased organizations, and the allegations on the systematic use of violence by law enforcement in a climate of general impunity, with frequent episodes of arbitrary arrests, violations of due process and precarious conditions of detainees”.

“In addition to the expulsion from Nicaragua of a number of diplomats,” he said, “including the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Waldemar Stanisław Sommertag, and of the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa, the Holy See regrets the most recent news regarding the 26-year sentence of Msgr. Rolando Alvarez, Bishop of Matagalpa, and the arbitrary deprivation of nationality for over 300 Nicaraguan citizens, including the exiled Auxiliary Bishop of Managua Silvo José Baez, 222 of which were deported to the United States”.

Work toward dialogue and respect for rights

The Permanent Observer reiterated Pope Francis’ appeal “to overcome hostilities and seek spaces for a constructive dialogue between the Parties, laying the foundations for the return to a peaceful coexistence based on the respect of the dignity and the rights of all persons, especially those in the most vulnerable situations, who are disproportionately affected by the current circumstances” with the prayer to the Lord “to open the hearts of political leaders and all citizens to the sincere search for peace, which is born of truth, justice, freedom and love, and which is achieved through the patient pursuit of dialogue”.

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10 March 2023, 11:04