The International Observatory for Lawyers in Danger (OIAD) has sent a statement to the Nicaraguan authorities expressing its concern at the Supreme Court’s decision to disbar more than 25 legal professionals who have defended political prisoners and opponents of Daniel Ortega’s government since 2018.
The Observatory denounces the fact that in Nicaragua “there are currently different patterns of human rights violations”, and regrets that 94 people have been declared “stateless” and “traitors to the homeland”, including these lawyers, who were stripped of their professional licence and nationality on 11 May.
It expresses its “concern about the lack of judicial independence in the decisions taken by the Supreme Court of Nicaragua”. “In particular, it is concerned about the lack of sufficient grounds for stripping a justice system player of his status as a lawyer on the basis of his statelessness, which inevitably reflects the political interests of the magistrates of this court”, states the communication sent to President Daniel Ortega.
It therefore urges the government to take “all necessary measures to guarantee access to the practice of law in Nicaragua, as well as the safety and physical and psychological integrity of the lawyers mentioned”.
It also asks them to “guarantee, in all circumstances, that human rights lawyers in Nicaragua can pursue their activities in defence of human rights without fear of reprisals, without restriction and in compliance with the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, signed in Havana in 1990”.
In particular, they called on the government “to exercise due diligence and guarantee the rights to due process, defence, access to justice and to respect the independence of the judiciary”.
The disbarred lawyers are Yonarqui de los Ángeles Martínez García, Uriel de Jesús Pineda Quinteros, Sergio Ramírez Mercado, Rafael Enrique Solís Cerda, Mónica Augusta López Baltodano, Héctor Ernesto Mairena, Guillermo Gonzalo Carrión Maradiaga, Eliseo Fabio Núñez Morales, Manuel Jacinto Diaz Morales, Álvaro Leiva Sánchez, Vilma Núñez Ruiz de Escorcia, Marlon Sáenz, (El Chino Enoc), Noel Vidaurre, José Pallais, Edgar Parrales, Roberto Larios, José Talavera Arauz, Hugo Rodriguez Flores, Ana Margarita Vijil, Osman Aguilar García, Moisés Astorga, María Oviedo, Manuel Sobalvarro, Róger Reyes, Hader González and María José Camacho.
The press release has also been signed by the Ibero-American Union of Bars and Law Societies (UIBA), the International Union of Lawyers’ Rule of Law Institute (UIA-IROL), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), the International Development Cooperation Initiatives-ICID, Lawyers For Lawyers and the Zehar-Errefuxiatuekin association.