The Grupo Interdisciplinario de Expertos Independientes (GIEI) – Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts – found that the Policia Orteguista (PO) carried out a fascist policy of mass and indiscriminate detention of men, women, and adolescents known as “razzia”.

The repression and illegal detentions of the Police in Nicaragua has intensified. La Prensa / ÓSCAR NAVARRETE

“Razzia” was borrowed via French and Italian with origin from Algerian Arabic ġāziya ‘raid’ and it may refer to police raids rounding up many people.

In Nicaragua, police “razzia” is characterized by massive surprises attacks whose objective is the detain and intimidate.

“They are put into practice in systems of dynasties and authoritarianism contrary to democratic systems”, explained lawyer Nelson Cortez.

“In addition, these police abuses violate fundamental rights such as free movement, the presumption of innocence, among others,” added the lawyer.

The GIEI recalled in its report that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) stated that “raids are incompatible with respect for fundamental rights, among others, of the presumption of innocence, of the existence of a judicial order to detain – except in the hypothesis of flagrancy- and the obligation to notify those responsible for minors. ”

Abuse of apparent legality

Orteguista Police during the first two months (April and May) of civic protest in Nicaragua abused the alleged commission of the criminal offense of “public scandal” to justify the detention of more than six hundred people, mostly young people, who participated in marches and protests against the regime of Daniel Ortega.

The use of this legal figure allowed to “justify” the arrests on account of presumed commission in flagrancy, without the need of a court order or communication to the Public Ministry, indicates the latest report of GIEI.

The referral of faults to the courts is the power of the police, therefore none of the people arrested was the subject of a police accusation, the GIEI clarifies in its report.

The report notes, “The arrests of the blue and white (police), as they are recognized to the opponents of Ortega, also affected dozens of adolescents who were deprived of their liberty in this context, without respecting the 24 hours of detention. The situation of the detainees was further aggravated by the ineffectiveness of the appeal for personal exhibition and judicial control of such abusive practices.”

According to relatives of political prisoners, the Court of Appeals assigned them up to three judges that did not fulfill their legal obligation, even assigning them to lawyers already deceased.

According to the Comisión de la Verdad, Justicia y Paz (Truth, Justice and Peace Commission), between April 18 and May 30, 2018, there were 690 detentions linked to the protests: 491 in April and 199 in May.

In conclusion, says the GIEI report, “it is evident that there was a practice of police raids linked to the exercise of social protest. This is clear if they are observed together: the mass of arrests, the coincidence between the dates of registration of most of these arrests and the date on which collective demonstrations were held, and the use of the lack of scandal public as justification.”

“The initial pattern of arrests in the use of public scandal to justify showed a difference that was seen starting in July and August, which consists in the selective detention of student leaders, peasants and other social referents, or people who have participated in protests, whom is accused judicially and remains in prison,” affirms the GIEI.

Article originally appeared on Today Nicaragua and is republished here with permission.


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