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Human Rights

Nicaragua expels international Red Cross representative

A local Red Cross spokeswoman said the ICRC received a letter from the government ordering the organization’s representative to leave the country

March 25, 2022 2:36pm

Updated: March 25, 2022 4:52pm

President Daniel Ortega’s government expelled the representative of the International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) from Nicaragua on Thursday, reported the Associated Press

Local Red Cross spokeswoman Maria Cristina Rivera said the ICRC received a letter from the government ordering the organization’s representative, Thomas Ess, to leave the country. Rivera said that the letter did not specify a reason for the decision. 

“The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirms that it has received a letter in which the Nicaraguan government notifies that it has decided to withdraw the approval of our head of mission in Nicaragua,” said Rivera.

“We do not know the reasons for this decision that took us by surprise. Despite this situation, the ICRC ratifies its commitment to continue its humanitarian work in Nicaragua, adhering to its principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence”, Rivera added.

The expulsion of Ess from the Central American country comes the same week that the Ortega Regime sentenced former presidential candidate and opposition leader Cristiana Chamorro, along with her brother and cousin, to prison. 

Ahead of November 2021’s presidential elections, the regime arrested more than 46 opposition leaders and six presidential contenders. 

Earlier this month, the Nicaraguan government also ordered the expulsion of the papal nuncio, Msgr. Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag. An action that the church called “grave and unjustified.”