IACHR Follows Up on Precautionary Measures for Human Rights Defenders María Matienzo and Kirenia Núñez in Cuba

March 1, 2023

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Washington, D.C. — On February 26, 2023, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) adopted Follow-Up Resolution 9/2023, which addresses the implementation of precautionary measures granted in favor of María de los Ángeles Matienzo and Kirenia Núñez Pérez in Cuba (MC-552-20), after analyzing the available information and identifying a series of challenges in light of the lack of response from the State.

The IACHR decided to issue the Follow-Up Resolution as it deemed that situations of risk continue to affect the beneficiaries, María de los Ángeles Matienzo and Kirenia Núñez Pérez. These include: i) arrests and threats that explicitly refer to their work as defenders and prevent them from participating in protest events; ii) different moments at which the beneficiaries have had their houses surrounded and raided by State agents; iii) monitoring of their personal actions by State agents; and iv) restrictions and threats in association with their leaving the country.

The IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of these beneficiaries on March 14, 2021, as it deemed them to be at serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their human rights, given that both were experiencing threats and being subjected to surveillance, intimidation, and attacks in the context of their work as human rights defenders and independent journalists.

In this follow-up resolution, the IACHR took into account the differential impact that being members of the LGBTI community has on the risk situation of María Matienzo and Kirenia Núñez, as well as the additional vulnerability factors of their being women, human rights defenders, and independent journalists who speak out against the government. Likewise, the IACHR regretted the State's failure to respond and noted challenges that have arisen since the precautionary measures have been in place.

Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, in its follow-up resolution, the IACHR requested that:

  1. The precautionary measures granted in favor of the members of María de los Ángeles Matienzo Puerto and Kirenia Yalit Núñez Pérez be maintained according to the terms set out in Resolution 26/2021of March 14, 2021, taking into account the contents of this Follow-up Resolution.
  2. The State take protective measures with a gender and LGTBI approach to ensure that its agents respect the rights of the beneficiaries in accordance with the relevant international standards, allowing them to continue their work as human rights defenders and independent journalists;
  3. The State submits specific, detailed, up-to-date information on the situation of the beneficiaries with a view to continuing to evaluate their situation as per the terms of Article 25 of the Rules of Procedure and continues to submit said information;
  4. Appropriate follow-up measures continue to be implemented as per Article 25.10 and other provisions set out in its Rules of Procedure.

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. 032/23

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