From a report on human rights in Nicaragua by the International League for Human Rights, July 1986:

The Nicaraguan government restricts the ability of human rights defense associations and attorneys to carry out their work. Since 1981, the Nicaraguan government has sharply limited human rights investigating, reporting, petitioning and educational activities by the nation's only independent general human rights organization, the Permanent Commission of Human Rights. Additionally, the government has convicted the group's founder under the Public Order Law and detained four of its other employees for short periods. The government ordered the closing of the Nicaraguan Association of Prisoners' Families and has prevented the Catholic Church from operating its human rights organization. It also has arrested, imprisoned and otherwise harassed several independent attorneys who defend political prisoners. . . .

The lack of strong democratic traditions, the domestic economic crisis and the external military threat all pose complex problems for Nicaragua's political system. Nevertheless, the Nicaraguan government's measures against the civil political opposition are excessive and violate international human rights.

While the government allowed a political opening for the opposition parties during the 1984 pre-election period, that political space has now been significantly tightened. The government has arrested and imprisoned many hundreds of political opposition activists, prohibited their public indoor meetings without prior government approval requested one week in advance, which has been commonly granted, banned outdoor assemblies and demonstrations altogether and infiltrated the groups to monitor their activities. . . .