Freedom House says it is appalled that Nicaragua expelled its Latin America programs director, Carlos Ponce.
“Barring the representative of a human rights organization signals the deteriorating protections for civil society in Nicaragua,” said Mark P. Lagon, president.
Ponce traveled to Nicaragua to meet with local civil society organizations, and diplomatic and government officials, Freedom House said. He was denied entry to the country on Tuesday, held overnight, and forced to return to Washington. Nicaraguan officials said he was denied entry due to an administrative decision, Freedom House reported.
Nicaragua is rated partly free in freedom in the world 2016 and partly free in freedom of the press 2015.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.