Nicaragua protests: Ten killed in clashes over pensions

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Nicaraguans are protesting a new Social Security law passed by President Daniel Ortega's government.

"We are against these reforms, which means we're against this government taking from the pockets of Nicaraguans", exclaimed Juan Bautista.

In a televised address, Ortega said the benefit changes were not due to take effect until July 1, giving the government time to arrange talks with the private sector to review them.

A woman nearby shouted: "The people are exhausted of this repression!" Students from Polytechnic University in Managua barricaded their campus.

The wave of protests that began on Wednesday has left at least three people dead - two young protesters and a male police officer, according to the government's official spokesperson, Vice President and First Lady Rosario Murillo.

"We are precisely listening to the call of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise of our country; we are responding to this call confirming our willingness to resume that open and frank dialogue, which has characterized us", Murillo said in a televized addess.

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"They (the opposition) go with destabilization plans to these groups and they finance them", Ortega said.

At least three local television stations broadcasting the protests live have had their signals abruptly cut.

Police have used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters, and disturbances continued in Managua on Saturday.

Nicaragua "needs to comply with their worldwide obligations to guarantee that people are able to freely express their rights of freedom of expression and freedom to peacefully assemble", UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Liz Throssell said in a statement. "The Nicaraguan State should abide by its global obligations to ensure that people are able to freely exercise their right to freedom of expression and to peaceful assembly and association".

She also noted that demonstrators were "attacked" by government supporters in the city of Masaya.

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