Human rights in Nicaragua: yesterday and today, report of a mission for the International Commission of Jurists

Issue: Civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, Global Security
Document Type: Fact Finding Mission
Date: 1980

During the period of the Somoza government, the International Commission of Jurists followed closely the violations of human rights occurring in Nicaragua.

It was, however, handicapped by the fact that permission could not be obtained to send a mission to the country to study the situation on the spot. The last request was made in January 1977, at a time when military courts were being set up to try political prisoners. No reply was received from President Somoza.

Early in 1980 the International Commission of Jurists approached the Junta of the National Reconstruction Government to see if it could send a mission to the country with the dual purpose of studying the present situation concerning human rights in Nicaragua, and of gathering further information about the repression under the former regime.

The Minister of the Exterior replied with a warm invitation, and accordingly a mission visited the country from 9-23 April 1980.

It was led by Professor Heleno Claudio Fragoso of Brazil, a distinguished penal lawyer, Vice-President of the Brazilian Bar Association (Council of the Order of Advocates of Brazil) and a Member of the Executive Committee of the International Commission of Jurists.

He was assisted by Dr. Alejandro Artucio, a Uruguayan advocate and a legal officer on the headquarters staff of the International Commission of Jurists.

Nicaragua-human rights yesterday and today-fact finding mission report-1980-eng (full text in English, PDF)

Nicaragua-human rights yesterday and today-fact finding mission report-1980-spa (full text in Spanish, PDF)

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