NICARAGUA – Christians attacked, detained and killed as ‘enemies of the regime’
World Watch Monitor | Sept. 6, 2018
Nicaragua’s president has ordered a UN Commission to leave the country on 1 September, after it criticised the government for human rights abuses committed during its clampdown on anti-government protestors.
In its report, the UN Commission for Human Rights “called on the government to stop the persecution of protestors and disarm masked gangs who it alleges are responsible for killings and arbitrary detentions… It also described the torture and use of excessive force used during interviews with victims and local human rights groups”, during months of anti-government protests, reported the BBC.
The government denied the allegations, saying the report was biased, but following the expulsion of the UN team anti-government protestors took to the streets again on Sunday (2 September). In the clashes with pro-government forces at least three more people were injured.
The UN Security Council discussed the situation in Nicaragua yesterday (5 September).
Protestors have called for President Daniel Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla – now in his third term in office – to step down and announce an early election.
Half of the population belongs to the Catholic Church while around 33% of Nicaraguans consider themselves evangelical Christians.
Forms of repression
Since April more than 300 people have been killed and more than 2,000 injured in clashes between police and pro-government militias. “More than 1,200 people were arrested or have disappeared with some charged with serious crimes, including terrorism,” reported Aljazeera.
On 23 August, the bodies of three men were found in Mozonte, 171 kms north of the capital Managua. Police said the men were all members of a gang and the violence was crime-related, reported national news site 100Noticias.
However, ABC local News identified one of the men as pastor Justo Emilio Rodiguez Moncada (35) of the evangelical Camino de Santidad church in Managua. The men were found with hands and feet tied and bullets in their head, making it look like an execution. Relatives say that the authorities only try to cover up the atrocities of the regime.