The United Nations Human Rights Office has published a scathing report into alleged human rights violations committed in Nicaragua in the wake of a wave of anti-government protests.

“During the second ‘clean-up’ stage, from mid-June to mid-July, police, pro-government armed elements, including those known as ‘shock forces’ (fuerzas de choque), and mobs (turbas) forcibly dismantled roadblocks and barricades.”

The UN Human Rights Office says that information it has obtained “strongly indicates that these armed elements acted with the acquiescence of high-level state authorities and the national police, often in a joint and coordinated manner”.

The report urges that an investigation into those abuses be carried out but states that they “do not legitimise in any way a response by the state that is not in line with international human rights law”.

The government statement denies there have been any documented cases of torture or sexual assault and states that all detentions were carried out in accordance with the law.