Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademis menneskerettighetskomite om situasjonen i


Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi, Drammensveien 78, Oslo
The International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies (IHRN)

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drastically reduced and eventually withdrawn altogether.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.

Executive Committee 
International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societie