Amaya Eva Coppens, a medical student at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua in Leon, was arrested following a protest demonstration on September 10th. On October 26, it was reported that she and 18 other women confined at La Speranza prison were attacked and beaten by over 20 unidentified, hooded men. None of the women received medical treatment. Four days following the attack members of the Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua accompanied by the Permanent Human Rights Commission attempted to visit the prison to observe the condition of the attacked prisoners but were denied entrance. CCS has written to the President of Nicaragua again urging dismissal of this case and the immediate release of Amaya Coppens with assurance of her safety and necessary medical care.
Daniel Ortega Saavedra
President of the Republic of Nicaragua
Frente a Palacio Nacional, Calle 4 Noroeste
Managua, Nicaragua, 11001
Fax: +505 2228 9090
Twitter: @EPP_Nicaragua @DanielOrtega_Ni
Dear President Saavedra:
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We write to reiterate our grave concerns for Amaya Eva Coppens, a medical student at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua in Leon (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua en León UNAN-Leon), who was arrested after a protest on September 10th and charged on September 19th.
We first wrote you on October 29 expressing our concern that, as one of the leaders of the 19th of April Student Movement (Movimiento Estudiantil 19 de Abril) in the city of Leon, her arrest may, in fact, be related to her peaceful political activities.
Three days earlier, on October 26, it was reported that Amaya Eva Coppens was among 18 women who were attacked and beaten in “La Esperanza” prison by over 20 unidentified, hooded men, and that neither she nor any of the other women received medical attention.
Four days after this violent assault, members of the Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI), established by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), accompanied by the Permanent Human Rights Commission (Comisión Permanente de Derechos Humanos), attempted to visit “La Esperanza” prison to observe the condition of the attacked prisoners, but were denied entry.
As we noted in our previous letter, Amaya Eva Coppens has already been subjected to death threats, and in April was beaten by police and others during protests. We grow increasingly alarmed at the treatment to which she and her fellow female prisoners are being subjected, and we are now deeply fearful for her physical safety.
We urge that Amaya Eva Coppens be released immediately and that take all steps necessary to ensure her safety. While she remains in detention, we call on you to ensure that her treatment meets the standards established in the “Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment”, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly resolution 43/173 in December 1988. This includes ensuring that she is not subjected to torture, or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, and that she is provided with all necessary medical care.
Thank you again for your attention to this most urgent matter, and we look forward to receiving your response.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Ambassador Francisco Obadiah Campbell Hooker
Embassy of Nicaragua
1627 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20009
Phone: 202-939-6570 I Fax: 202-939-6545