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14 Oct 2018 | 04:09 PM UTC

Nicaragua: Police arrest 26 in Managua, repressing anti-Ortega march Oct. 14 /update 50

Police arrest 26 people in Managua, forcing cancelation of planned “United for Liberty” anti-government march October 14; similar protests and arrests expected in the coming weeks

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Event

Nicaraguan police arrested 26 people in Managua ahead of a planned "United for Liberty" anti-government march on Sunday, October 14. Security forces and supporters of President Daniel Ortega had reportedly been arrayed across the streets of Managua from early on Sunday morning (local time). The march was canceled following the arrests. Similar protests and arrests are to be expected in Managua amid a heightened security presence in the coming weeks.

Context

Nicaragua is experiencing widespread political unrest as months-long protests have called for President Daniel Ortega to step down. The movement began on April 18 and has led to frequent protests, deadly clashes, looting, and other violence. Human rights groups claim that over 300 people have been killed due to unrest since mid-April and more than 4500 others have been injured. Activists accuse the government and pro-government militias of committing serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, using weapons of war against protesters, kidnappings, arbitrary detentions, torture, excessive use of force, raiding homes without a warrant, and attacking the press.

Advice

Individuals in Managua are advised to closely monitor the situation, strictly avoid all protests due to the risk of violence and arrest, and adhere to any advice issued by their home governments. Some countries, including the US, the UK, and France, continue to advise their nationals to postpone nonessential travel to the country until further notice.

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