Eksekutivkomiteen i det internasjonale menneskerettighetsnettverket til vitenskapsakademiene har vedtatt følgende uttalelse om situasjonen til universiteter og vitenskapsakademiet i Nicaragua. Foranledningen er regjeringens nylige overtakelse av University of Central America.
August 23, 2023
The International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies
(IHRN) is an alliance of more than 90 national honorary scientific societies that
defends the fundamental rights of academics and researchers worldwide and
supports scholarly institutions under threat. We, the members of the IHRN’s
Executive Committee, condemn the Nicaraguan government’s recent seizure of
the University of Central America (UCA) as an egregious assault on academic
freedom in the country.
Last week the Ortega-Murillo government in Nicaragua moved to confiscate the
University’s property, buildings, equipment, and financial accounts, transferring
these assets to the state on the grounds that UCA has been functioning as a
“center of terrorism”. Nicaraguan authorities have also accused the University’s
directors of being traitors to the country, placing them at serious personal
risk. These actions are based on unsubstantiated allegations, and those targeted
have been denied due process of law.
The government’s takeover of UCA, one of the region’s leading academic
institutions, is the latest in a series of actions targeting research and scholarship
in the country. Since late 2021, the government has closed more than two
dozen universities and has cancelled the legal status of the Academy of Sciences
of Nicaragua. UCA itself was subjected to governmental harassment when it
supported students targeted by state and paramilitary forces following the
outbreak of country-wide protests in 2018. Its campus has been at times
surrounded by police, and government funding for the University was
drastically reduced and eventually withdrawn altogether.
Numerous human rights bodies, including the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,
have denounced attacks on institutions of research and higher education in
Nicaragua as part of their documentation of widespread human rights violations
in the country. We urge members of the global scientific and scholarly
community to join us in calling for the protection of fundamental rights and
freedoms in the country and for the end of such abuses.
International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societie