Nicaragua: Council renews EU sanctions regime for one year

The Council has today extended the existing framework for imposing targeted restrictive measures in view of the situation in Nicaragua for one year, until 15 October 2021.

The sanctions regime was introduced in October 2019 after the Council had repeatedly expressed its concern about the deteriorating political and social situation in Nicaragua, and firmly condemned the repression of political opponents, demonstrators, independent media and civil society going on since April 2018.

The existing framework provides for the possibility of imposing targeted and individual sanctions against persons and entities responsible for human rights violations or abuses or for the repression of civil society and democratic opposition in Nicaragua, as well as persons and entities whose actions, policies or activities otherwise undermine democracy and the rule of law.

Sanctions consist of a travel ban to the EU, an asset freeze for persons and an asset freeze for entities. In addition, EU persons and entities are forbidden to make funds available to those listed.

Since the introduction of the framework, six persons have been sanctioned.

The EU remains extremely concerned about the ongoing deterioration of democracy and human rights in Nicaragua. Repression by security forces and pro-government armed groups must stop.
The EU expects the Government of Nicaragua to abide by the commitments, in their entirety, made in their March 2019 agreements with the opposition. This includes the re-establishment of civil and political rights and guarantees, the liberation of the remaining political prisoners and the dropping of all charges against them, the return of international human rights bodies to Nicaragua and an agreement on electoral and institutional reforms between the government and the opposition – including political parties and current members of the National Coalition – with the aim of guaranteeing credible, inclusive and transparent elections in 2021.

The EU reaffirms its commitment to supporting the Nicaraguan people, including by helping to strengthen the rule of law and supporting economic and social development for the most vulnerable.