IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of Priest José Urbina in Nicaragua

October 11, 2023

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 58/2023 on October 9, 2023, to grant precautionary measures in favor of José Leonardo Urbina Rodriguez, a Roman Catholic priest in Boaco, in the belief that he faces a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to his rights.

According to the party who requested these precautionary measures, José Urbina Rodríguez is being deprived of liberty at the Jorge Navarro National Prison Service facility, known as "La Modelo." The beneficiary is allegedly not getting specialist or even basic medical care, nor the medication he needs. Insufficient information is allegedly being provided about his current conditions of detention, and his lawyer is not being allowed to enter prison facilities.

The State failed to provide information to prove that the risk factors that had been identified had been adequately mitigated.

After assessing the legal and factual allegations made by the party who requested these precautionary measures, the IACHR considers that José Urbina Rodríguez is at risk, given that he is not being granted access to the medical care and treatment he needs to address various health issues and given that no information is being provided by State authorities concerning his conditions of detention. 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 José Leonardo Urbina Rodríguez
  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 has access to appropriate specialist medical care and immediately conducting a specialist medical examination of his health condition; (ii) ensuring he has access to the treatment and medication required to treat his health issues; and (iii) ensuring that he has regular access to and contact with his lawyers and representatives
  3. Come to an agreement with the beneficiary and his representatives concerning any measures that need to be taken
  4. 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. 244/23

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