Nicaraguan pro-government forces are responsible for a wide range of abuses against protesters, according to Human Rights Watch.
In a report released Wednesday, the rights group alleges the Nicaraguan National Police, alongside other pro-government forces, killed 300 people and injured 2,000 in a crackdown following protests in May 2018.
The report says detained protesters were subject to "electric shocks, severe beatings, fingernail removal, asphyxiation, and rape." Furthermore, the report alleges that many detainees were denied medical care, with government forces retaliating against doctors who sought to provide care.
The report also alleges abuses in the trials for protesters. According to Human Rights Watch, protesters were tried in "closed door" trials and were unable to communicate with their counsel in private.
The Nicaraguan government has also targeted journalists who report on the protests and subsequent crackdown. The report alleges that two journalists have been criminally charged, and foreign journalists and rights groups have been expelled.
Protests began in 2018 over social security reforms, calling for the nation's president, Daniel Ortega, to leave office. Since the crackdown on protests that left hundreds dead, only one sentence has been handed down to a government official, with another investigation having been opened.
Human Rights Watch has called for nations to enact targeted sanctions on members of the Nicaraguan government, including Ortega. The United States maintains sanctions on at least six members of Nicaraguan leadership, and the European Union and Canada have been harshly critical of the country, though they have not implemented sanctions.