Nicaragua regime exposed at U.N. by political prisoner Félix Maradiaga

Today at the U.N. Human Rights Council, the regimes of Iran, Syria, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia told lies to shield their friend Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega. But then dissident Félix Maradiaga, who just spent 611 days as a political prisoner, took the floor to tell the truth. Friday March 3, 2023.

President HRC: I shall now proceed with the High Commissioner’s oral update and interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in Nicaragua.

Iran: Mr. President, the Islamic Republic of Iran commends Nicaragua for its determination and positive steps to promote and protect the human rights of its people through strengthening its judicial and electoral system and safeguarding peace and its sovereignty. 

Ethiopia: The state of Eritrea commands the determination and ongoing effort of the government of Nicaragua to protect and promote the human rights of its people. 

Saudi Arabia: We thank the Government of Nicaragua for the efforts deployed to promote and protect human rights. 

Syrian Arab Republic: My country welcomes the efforts deployed by Nicaragua to promote human rights.

President HRC: Now we will continue with the video intervention by United Nations Watch.

Félix Maradiaga, UN Watch: My name is Felix Maradiaga. I am an academic and former presidential candidate from Nicaragua. Up until two weeks ago, I was a political prisoner for 611 days under inhumane conditions. I was put in that prison, together with many others due to our commitment to human rights and democracy.

By arresting us, Daniel Ortega has shown the world that he cannot win free elections if the opposition is allowed to participate.

This operation is not new. Since 2018, many before me have testified to his brutal repression of dissent. On June 2021, I was arbitrarily detained and later sentenced to 13 years in prison, violating all due process.

On February 9, 222 political prisoners were deported to the United States, and together with another 94 Nicaraguans, stripped from our nationality, which is an open violation of international human rights treaties.

39 political prisoners remain in Nicaragua, including Catholic Bishop Rolando Alvarez unlawfully sentenced to 26 years in prison for speaking truth to power in his role as a religious leader. These are the types of abuses that are unacceptable under the UN Charter.

I respectfully ask you, Mr. President, to take action for the release of the remaining prisoners. Help us end religious persecution in Nicaragua and the systematic human rights abuses.

Thank you.

UN Watch