Nicaragua: 1) Any information on forced labour, 1980-1984; 2) Any information on restrictions on religious practice, particularly on Seventh Day Adventists; 3) Any information on rationing and ration cards in Nicaragua; 4) Restrictions on departure of Nicaraguan citizens, particularly those with professional or technical skills
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 January 1990|
|Citation / Document Symbol||NIC3279|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Nicaragua: 1) Any information on forced labour, 1980-1984; 2) Any information on restrictions on religious practice, particularly on Seventh Day Adventists; 3) Any information on rationing and ration cards in Nicaragua; 4) Restrictions on departure of Nicaraguan citizens, particularly those with professional or technical skills, 1 January 1990, NIC3279, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ad2628.html [accessed 27 January 2015]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
1) The Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights, in its book Nicaragua: Revolutionary Justice, (New York/Washington, D.C.: 1985), pages 129-131, reports that prisoners who refused to work either in prison workshops or in prison farms under a program which started in 1982 were not granted weekly visits. Other forms of pressure to perform work during the requested timeframe could not be found among the sources currently available to the IRBDC.
2) In addition to the information already available to the requester, please find attached a report published in Human Rights in Central America, (Antwerp: Pax Christi International, 1988), pages 160-165, and Right to Survive: Human Rights in Nicaragua, (London: Catholic Institute for International Relations, 1987), pages 89-95, both dealing with the situation of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua, with references to the situation of other Christian denominations.
Americas Watch, in its 1988 book on Nicaragua, [ Human Rights in Nicaragua, (Washington, D.C.: Americas Watch, August 1988), pp. 47-48.] reports the expulsion of at least two Nicaraguan and 19 foreign priests in the mid-1980's, some of which have later returned.
The Inter-Church Committee for Human Rights in Latin America headquarters in Toronto had no information on the situation of the various Christian churches in Nicaragua, as "it has not concentrated in the last few years on Nicaragua". [ As stated by telephone on 9 January 1990.]
A recent event widely covered by the media (press reports available at your local Documentation Centre) reported the killing of three Catholic nuns in Nicaragua. Although most reports attributed the killings to "contra" forces, authorship has not been conclusively defined yet.
The Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Canada's head office in Oshawa reported that followers of its church are allowed to freely practice their religion, but stated that different problems have been faced, suggesting the church's Inter-American Affairs office in Miami be contacted for details. In a telephone conversation, Mr. Brown of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church Inter-American Affairs office in Miami emphasized his office's reluctance to provide any information on problems faced by his church in Nicaragua in the recent past arguing caution and a desire to avoid resurfacing past problems which might affect current relations, although admitting some problems had existed in the past. Mr. Brown stated that his office currently has no information available on problems faced by Seventh-Day Adventists in Nicaragua.
3) Residence certificates and food-ration cards are reported to be under the control of the Comités de Defensa del Sandinismo (CDS-Committees for the Defense of Sandinismo), local groups composed of Sandinista youths and party members. [ Human Rights in Developing Countries, (Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag, 1988), p. 283.] According to one report, [ Human Rights in Central America, p. 138.] the minimal guaranteed supply provided by the ration cards "increasingly fell below the real necessities so that the ordinary people had to turn to the speculative black market". The same source reports the existence of illegal transfer of goods from the official to the black market by some state officials, affecting different groups in society. [ Ibid.]
Information on abuse or discrimination in the issuing of ration cards could not be found among the sources currently available to the IRBDC.
4) The Right to Leave and Return in International Law and Practice, (Dordrecht/Boston/Lancaster: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1987), p. 87 states:
"Article 15 of Nicaraguan Decree No. 52, `Statute of the Rights and Guarantees of the Nicaraguan People', provides that `Nicaraguans shall have the right to enter and leave the country freely'. This right may be suspended in time of emergency or `for reasons of public order and security of the state' (art. 49). Exit visas are required for those who wish to leave, and there have been some instances where departures of politically prominent persons have been at least temporarily delayed. It does not appear that the right to leave is systematically denied, and several opposition leaders have chosen voluntarily exile or emigration."
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1988, (Washington: U.S. Department of State, 1989), p. 651, states:
"The government imposes restrictions on foreign travel through use of passport and exit visa requirements. The regime limits some opposition figures to single-exit visas, while it often denies both passports and exit visas to young men of draft age, professionals with skills needed by the regime, and political opponents whose views it does not wish to have expressed overseas. In September the Government quadrupled the fee for a passport to the equivalent of [U.S.]$40, beyond the reach of many Nicaraguans. A program which allows Nicaraguan citizens to visit family members living in Costa Rica and Honduras at special border posts is frequently blocked by the Nicaraguan authorities on scheduled weekends; clandestine departures by Nicaraguans to Hondurans and Costa Rica continue, and the Government has used military forces at times to block these departures."
The Critique: Review of the Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1988, (Washington: Human Rights Watch, July 1989), section on Nicaragua, does not comment on the above statement.
-Human Rights in Central America, (Antwerp: Pax Christi International, 1988), pages 160-165;
-Right to Survive: Human Rights in Nicaragua, (London: Catholic Institute for International Relations, 1987), pages 89-95.