IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro and His Family in Nicaragua

September 30, 2022

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 49/2022 on September 29, 2022, to grant precautionary measures in favor of Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro and his family in Nicaragua, in the belief that they face a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their rights.

According to the organization who requested these precautionary measures, Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro, general manager of the independent daily La Prensa, is being detained at the facility operated by the Judicial Support Department known as Nuevo Chipote, in inadequate conditions and without access to necessary, timely, and appropriate medical care to address his health issues. In keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR asked the State of Nicaragua for information but did not receive an answer.

After assessing the legal and factual allegations made by the requesting organization, the IACHR considered that Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro and his family are at risk. The risks cited in the request for these precautionary measures allegedly persist and are likely to get worse, given the current context in Nicaragua. Holmann Chamorro's family is allegedly in danger of retaliation, considering the hounding and harassment his wife has already been subjected to. The Commission stressed its concern about the effects of actions against the daily La Prensa on freedom of expression, in a context where pressure, delayed deliveries, and material shortages are rife and where, in fact, La Prensa's facilities have now been "effectively confiscated." Consequently, in keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR asked the State of Nicaragua to take the following action:

  1. Adopt any measures necessary to protect the rights to life, personal integrity, and health of Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro and his family
  2. Adopt any measures necessary to ensure that the beneficiary's conditions of detention reflect the applicable international standards and include the following actions: (i) ensuring that he is not subjected to threats, intimidation, harassment, or physical violence within penitentiary facilities; (ii) immediately conducting a specialist medical examination of his current health condition, so he receives adequate specialized care; (iii) providing the beneficiary with the treatment and medication he needs to address his health issues; and (iv) considering alternatives to deprivation of liberty, given the beneficiary's conditions of detention and the state of his health
  3. Take any measures necessary to enable Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro to do his work without being subjected to intimidation, threats, harassment, or any other forms of violence for doing such work (this includes taking measures to enable him to exercise his right to freedom of expression)
  4. Come to an agreement with the beneficiary and his representatives concerning any measures that need to be taken; and
  5. Report on any actions adopted to investigate the alleged events that gave rise to the adoption of these precautionary measures, in order to prevent such events from happening again in the future

The fact that these precautionary measures have been granted and their adoption by the State do not entail a prejudgment on a potential petition that may be filed before the inter-American system to allege violations of rights protected by the American Convention on Human Rights and other applicable instruments.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 222/22

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