Nicaragua: International organizations call on president Ortega to stop harassment and arbitrary dismissals of health workers

Following the dismissal of at least 16 health workers in recent weeks after they raised their voices against the Nicaraguan government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Amnesty International, the  Center for Justice and International Law, the Mesoamerican Initiative on Women Human Rights Defenders, Just Associates Mesoamerica, and the International Federation of Human Rights published an open letter to president Daniel Ortega today expressing concern about his government’s actions.

“The Nicaraguan government’s actions against health workers have undermined the prospects of saving many more lives. Today we collectively call on president Ortega to ensure that his government listens to the voices of health workers who are vital for guiding the authorities’ response to the pandemic. The government must immediately stop silencing health workers by terminating their employment in response to their public concerns,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

The Nicaraguan government’s actions against health workers have undermined the prospects of saving many more lives
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International

“The Nicaraguan government has the obligation to demonstrate that it has used all available resources to protect the population’s right to health and the rights of health workers to just and favourable labour conditions, including by ensuring the availability of personal protective equipment for health workers and protecting their rights to express themselves freely. The brave health workers who have called on the Nicaraguan population to stay at home must not be faced with reprisals for expressing their legitimate concern for the health of the wider community.”

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Duncan Tucker: duncan.tucker@amnesty.org