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The Council of the European Union (EU) announced the imposition of sanctions on Nicaragua's First Lady and Vice President Rosario Murillo and seven other individuals allegedly involved in human rights violations.
"The Council has imposed restrictive measures on eight more persons, including Vice President Rosario Murillo, as being responsible for serious human rights violations or actions undermining democracy and the rule of law in Nicaragua," the official statement said.
According to the community bloc, the restrictions are supposedly designed so as not to harm the Nicaraguan population or the Nicaraguan economy.
This decision brings to 14 the number of persons who are subject to freezing of assets in the territory of the EU and to whom citizens and companies of the EU will be prohibited from providing financial resources. Persons subject to sanctions will also not be allowed to enter or transit through EU territory.
Arguing its decision, the EU Council alleges that "the political situation in Nicaragua has further deteriorated in recent months" and that "the political use of the judicial system, the exclusion of candidates from elections and the arbitrary disqualification of opposition parties are contrary to basic democratic principles and constitute a serious violation of the rights of the Nicaraguan people."
The EU says it has imposed sanctions on 8 Nicaraguans for human rights violations or undermining democracy or the rule of law, including Rosario Murillo, the vice president and wife of President Ortega. https://t.co/mOAQUR7PYX
"Today's additional measures demonstrate that the EU remains determined to use all its instruments to support a democratic, peaceful and negotiated solution to the political crisis in Nicaragua," the communiqué highlights.
The arrest in late July of Noel Vidaurre, the seventh presidential pre-candidate to be incarcerated in the Central American country over links to U.S. federal agencies, "illustrates the magnitude of the repression in Nicaragua and projects a worrying image for the upcoming elections," according to the EU.
The EU called, hypocritically, for "the immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners, as well as full respect for human rights and the civil and political rights of all Nicaraguan citizens."