IACHR Requests that IA Court Grant Provisional Measures in Favor of Indigenous YATAMA Representatives in Nicaragua

December 19, 2023

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Washington, D.C. — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) requested that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IA Court) grant provisional measures in favor of Representative Brooklyn Rivera Bryan and Alternate Representative Nancy Elizabeth Henríquez James, both of whom represent the indigenous political party Yapti Tasba Masraka Nanih Aslatakanka (YATAMA) in the National Assembly of Nicaragua. Both individuals are at extreme and urgent risk of experiencing irreparable damage to their rights.

In its request for provisional measures, the IACHR pointed out that the whereabouts of Brooklyn Rivera have remained unknown since his arrest on September 29, 2023. It also noted that Nancy Henríquez James is being held in substandard conditions of detention in La Esperanza Penitentiary Center, although her whereabouts were also initially unknown.

The IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of Brooklyn Rivera Bryan on October 9, 2023, through Resolution 59/23, and in favor of Nancy Elizabeth Henríquez James on October 11, 2023, through Resolution 60/23. The IACHR has taken numerous measures to obtain information from the State of Nicaragua but has not yet received a response regarding measures adopted to protect the beneficiaries' rights.

The beneficiaries' circumstances are part of a context of persecution of any form of opposition or demonstration that is critical of the actions of the Nicaraguan government, and the persecution of the YATAMA political party, with the aim of harassing, criminalizing, and eliminating its members from the political space. Likewise, the alleged purpose of arresting the two beneficiaries was to send a repressive message against any critical questioning from indigenous movements like YATAMA, in order to prevent dissidents from participating in politics.

The IACHR considers that these people's rights are at extreme risk. In accordance with the provisions of article 63(2) of the American Convention and article 27 of the Rules of Procedure of the IA Court, the latter was requested to order the State to immediately adopt the measures necessary to effectively protect the life, personal integrity, health, personal liberty, and political rights of the two beneficiaries in Nicaragua.

In requesting the provisional measures, the IACHR took into account the available information, which allowed it to establish the existence of a situation of extreme gravity, urgency, and irreparable damage. The request moved through the evaluation process, taking into account the problem posed, the effectiveness of the measures, and the extent of the lack of protection to which the beneficiaries would be exposed if the provisional measures were not adopted. The context in which the events that led to the request occurred was taken into account at all times.

Provisional measures are issued by the IA Court in cases of extreme gravity and urgency to prevent people from suffering irreparable harm. They are binding for States, and the decisions contained therein require them to take specific measures to safeguard the rights and/or protect the lives of people who are at risk.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate stems from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has the mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as an advisory body to the OAS on the matter. The IACHR is made up of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity, and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 300/23

4:45 PM