1) Treatment of people with any kind of opposite viewpoint from that held by the government, or who speak their mind; 2) Treatment of people involved in political parties. [NIC2595]

Due to the short notice of this request (received approximately two hours before the hearing), a limited verbal response was provided over the phone. Noting that the political climate and limitations on the freedom of expression have changed over the course of the Sandinista administration, it was pointed out that it is not possible to discuss the treatment of the political opposition without having a specific timeframe.

1)

The recent reports, by Americas Watch, of extrajudicial executions of suspected contra collaborators in remote regions (Jinotega and Matagalpa) by the Direcci├│n General de Seguridad del Estado and by the Sandinista Popular Army was mentioned.

2)

The electoral reforms and the existence of 22 (to 24) political parties vying for power in the February 1990 elections was discussed. In the context of the elections, it was pointed out that the Sandinista government is under close scrutiny by international observers, and the political opposition has acquired more freedom of expression as a result of the electoral process.

3) During the 1984 elections, there were incidents where pro-Sandinista "mobs" demonstrated against, and attacked, the political opposition (of the CDN), however, there is little direct evidence to suggest that these actions were sanctioned by the government.