We, the members of the IFEX-ALC network, who work to defend freedom of expression and press freedom in 15 Latin American and Caribbean countries and who form part of the broader IFEX network that defends and promotes free expression worldwide, condemn the threats, attacks, raids and censorship being experienced by media outlets and journalists in Nicaragua, as well as the closure of civil society spaces by the government of President Daniel Ortega.
Since April 2018, when demonstrations against the Ortega government began, Nicaragua has suffered serious setbacks to the rights to freedom of expression and access to information, both for Nicaraguan society in general and for journalists, media outlets and human rights defenders.
In recent weeks, several media outlets and journalists who have been reporting on the situation in the country, including the protests and human rights violations perpetrated by government agents, have been targeted with physical attacks, threats, acts of intimidation, stigmatisation, police investigations, thefts of equipment and documents, confinement and threats of legal action. Radio Dario, the 100% Noticias television station and, recently, El Confidencial magazine are among the media outlets that have been affected by these types of actions. The community radio stations Radio Humedales and Radio Voz Juvenil are in danger of having to cease operations because organisations they are affiliated with have closed down.
In addition, several civil society organisations that defend human rights and have reported on abuses perpetrated by the government since the beginning of the demonstrations have closed down after the National Assembly withdrew their legal status.
IFEX-ALC supports and highlights the courageous and determined work of the Nicaraguan media outlets, journalists and human rights workers who have continued to report on and denounce the arbitrary actions of the government despite the attacks aimed at silencing them.
The 23 member organisations of IFEX-ALC call on the Nicaraguan government to:
- Refrain from using state instruments and the armed forces to attack and censor critical voices and close down civil society spaces.
- Refrain from using the judicial system to criminalise the work of media outlets and journalists.
- Fulfil its obligations under international human rights treaties ratified by Nicaragua, which guarantee the full exercise of professional and independent journalism in order to provide trustworthy information on issues of public interest and protect the rights of citizens to receive information.
- Provide guarantees for the existence of a free and independent press as a right of citizens and an obligation of all democratic governments.
- Refrain from withdrawing the legal status of civil society organizations that report on the situation in the country and defend human rights.
Artigo 19 (Brazil)
Asociación Mundial de Radios Comunitarias América Latina y el Caribe (AMARC ALC)
Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC)
Association of Caribbean Media Workers
Brazilian Association for Investigative Journalism
Centro de Archivos y Acceso a la Información Pública
Centro Nacional de Comunicación Social
Comité por la Libre Expresión - C-Libre
Foro de Periodismo Argentino
Foundation for Press Freedom - FLIP
Fundamedios - Andean Foundation for Media Observation and Study
Instituto de Prensa y Libertad de Expresión - IPLEX
Instituto Prensa y Sociedad
Instituto Prensa y Sociedad de Venezuela
Latin American Observatory of Regulation, Media and Convergence - OBSERVACOM
National Press Association
Observatorio Latinoamericano para la Libertad de Expresión - OLA
Sindicato de Periodistas del Paraguay
Trinidad and Tobago's Publishers and Broadcasters Association