IACHR requests provisional measures to I/A Court H.R. in favor of four members of the Mayanga indigenous people deprived of liberty in Nicaragua

June 23, 2023

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Washington, D.C. - On June 22, 2023, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) requested the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to grant provisional measures in favor of D.R.Z., D.A.B.A., A.C.L., and I.C.L., members of the Mayagna indigenous people, who are deprived of their liberty in Nicaragua, and are facing an extremely serious and urgent risk of irreparable harm to their rights.

The IACHR emphasizes that the identified persons are deprived of their liberty in the Jorge Navarro Penitentiary Center after being convicted of acts related to the Kiwakumbaih Massacre. These persons are said to be not receiving adequate and timely medical care, despite suffering health problems and being subjected to constant threats from custodians and other persons deprived of liberty, and according to the allegations, they were even victims of physical and sexual assaults.

The Inter-American Commission granted precautionary measures in favor of these persons in 2023, upon identifying that the requirements of seriousness, urgency, and irreparable harm provided in Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure were met. Despite requests to the State, no response was received on measures taken to address the threatening situation, which is of particular concern, as information indicates that these persons remain in conditions of detention that place them at extreme risk.

The IACHR considers that the rights of these four persons are at extreme risk and are exposed to imminent acts of violence. Therefore, in accordance with the provisions of Article 63(2) of the American Convention and Article 27 of the Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Commission requested this Court to order the State to immediately adopt the necessary measures to effectively protect the life, integrity, health, and freedom of the indigenous people identified in Nicaragua, considering their racial ethnic status, and to proceed to immediate release, given the conditions in which they currently find themselves, the torture received, the lack of medical attention, and the serious deterioration of health, which shows the impossibility of the State to guarantee minimum conditions of detention compatible with international standards and human dignity.

Provisional measures are issued by the Inter-American Court in cases of extreme seriousness and urgency to avoid irreparable harm to persons. They are binding on States and therefore the decisions contained therein require States to take specific actions to safeguard rights and/or protect the lives of persons at risk.

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 the observance and defense of 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. 132/23

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