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52nd Session of the Human Rights Council

National Statement during the Interactive Dialogue with the Group of Human Rights Experts on Nicaragua, 6 March 2023

We thank the Group of Human Rights Experts on Nicaragua for their report.

Australia is deeply concerned by the deterioration of human rights in Nicaragua and the continued dismantling of democratic institutions.

Nicaragua has increasingly used repression of political opponents to maintain power. Human rights defenders, journalists, and clergy are arrested, harassed, and intimidated. Over 3,000 NGOs have been forced to shut down, with almost half of these since September last year.

Australia notes the recent release of 222 political prisoners as a constructive step. However, we remain deeply troubled that their citizenship was stripped, leaving many stateless. We call for the immediate release of all individuals who have been arbitrarily detained and for the Nicaraguan authorities to respect their rights.

We once again urge the Nicaraguan Government to collaborate openly with human rights mechanisms, cooperate with the OHCHR and allow opposition voices and NGOs to operate

We reiterate our commitment to the Nicaraguan people and ask how can the international community support accountability for reprisals taken against civil society actors, including those engaging with the United Nations?

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