Nicaragua protest killings may be 'unlawful'

Annette Crawford
April 24, 2018

Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega.

On Monday police were kept back from demonstrators, who reportedly shouted "Murderers!"

Thousands of Nicaraguans took to the streets to protest proposed changes to the national social security system, which would have substantially increased taxes and required citizens to contribute 5 percent of their pensions to the social security pool.

The United Nations sharply criticized Nicaragua's leftist government over its heavy-handed crackdown on opposition protesters Tuesday - a day after the Trump administration began pulling USA diplomats from country amid unrest that has left dozens dead.

While Mr. Ortega said Sunday that he was withdrawing the proposed changes, the unrest has continued. "Murderers!" and called for the release of the more than 100 protesters who had been arrested in the days prior. A police officer was also shot in the head during deadly clashes in the Nicaraguan capital, Managua.

Guido said the Red Cross had registered nine deaths since the protests began Wednesday, and attended to 433 injured people.

"We are particularly concerned that a number of these deaths may amount to unlawful killings", U.N. High Commissioner For Human Rights spokeswoman Liz Throssel said Tuesday.

According to the U.S. State Department's new, four-tier system in which every country receives a travel advisory, with levels of advice ranging from one to four, Level 3 means to "reconsider travel".

"I express my closeness in prayer to that country and I am united with the bishops in asking that every form of violence end, that a pointless shedding of blood be avoided and that open issues be resolved peacefully and with a sense of responsibility", the pope said April 22 after praying the "Regina Coeli" prayer with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square. The State Department says it's also allowing US government officials posted to Nicaragua to leave "on a case-by-case basis".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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