San José and Managua, October 26th, 2018 - Human rights defenders and representatives of CEJIL, Marcia Aguiluz Soto, Francisca Stuardo Vidal, and Paola Limón were arbitrarily expelled from Nicaragua this morning by the authorities of Augusto César Sandino International Airport.
The members of CEJIL visited Nicaragua to meet with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Special Follow-up Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI), the body responsible for following up on the recommendations given by the IACHR in its report dated June 21st, 2018.
In spite of having received a formal invitation from the IACHR, upon their arrival, the migration representatives questioned the delegation for not having requested authorization with enough time in advance to enter the country. Then they pointed out that the decision was part of the exercise of their sovereignty.
"Despite the arbitrariness of these actions, they will not intimidate us. Today, more than ever, we reaffirm our commitment to continue accompanying the Nicaraguan people in the struggle for the restoration of democracy. Their dignity and unwavering conviction inspire us every day. They are not and will not be alone," said Marcia Aguiluz Soto, Director of the CEJIL Central America and Mexico Program.
This occurrence is another example of the serious crisis the country is going through, where the voices of human rights defenders or of those who oppose or question the State are silenced by various means. The closing of democratic spaces is a reality that is confirmed day after day.
We call on the international community to condemn these events and, in particular, to stand in solidarity with social leaders and human rights defenders who are putting their lives at risk to restore the rule of law and achieve full respect for human rights in Nicaragua.