Switzerland slaps sanctions on top Nicaragua officials


This content was published on June 24, 2020 - 18:55
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Rodrigo Navarrete, the only relative in Nicaragua of political prisoner Jaime Navarrete, shows a poster with the photo of his relative during an interview in Managua, Nicaragua, 10 June 2020. Navarrete and the April Victims Association (AVA) alleged that the Nicaraguan government has used the COVID-19 crisis to wage "biological warfare" against promoters and followers of the 2018 anti-government uprising. Keystone / Carlos Herrera

Switzerland is joining the European Union in imposing sanctions on Nicaragua in response to ongoing violations against human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

The Swiss government issued a statement on Wednesday urging authorities in Nicaragua to uphold national and international laws on human rights, especially those on freedom of expression and assembly.

“These sanctions are not directed against the people of Nicaragua,” the Federal Council noted.

The financial and travel sanctions target six individuals with close ties to Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega. Two of them are personal advisors to the president and the other four are high ranking members of the judiciary and police force implicated in serious human rights violations.

Assets affected by the freeze must be reported to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. The measures came into force at 6pm on June 24.

Bern called on Managua to implement genuine general reform, respect the fundamental rights of citizens, and abide by two agreements made with the opposition in 2019.

“Switzerland is prepared to support efforts to find a peaceful solution to this socio-political conflict,” the government said.

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