Press Release

The IACHR grants precautionary measures to Juan Antonio Madrazo Luna, Oswaldo Navarro Veloz, and Marthadela Tamayo, human rights defenders in Cuba.

January 22, 2021

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Resolution 7/21

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Washington, D.C.- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 7/21 on January 19, 2021, whereby it granted precautionary measures of protection to Juan Antonio Madrazo Luna, Marthadela Tamayo and Oswaldo Navarro Veloz, upon considering that these human rights defenders are at serious and urgent risk of irreparable harm to their rights in Cuba.

According to the request, the beneficiaries, who are members of the Citizens Committee for Racial Integration (Comité Ciudadanos por la Integración Racial, CIR), an organization that advocates for the rights of Afro-descendants and against racial discrimination, are at risk due to threats, harassment, surveillance, persecutions, detentions and acts of violence by state actors and third parties, allegedly because of their work as human rights defenders in Cuba. The Commission regrets the lack of observations from the State, even though such observations were requested in accordance with Article 25.5 of its Rules of Procedure.

Upon analyzing the arguments of fact and law provided by the applicants, the Commission considers that the situation of the beneficiaries is framed in a context of intimidation, persecution and harassment of human rights defenders who think or express opinions in opposition to the current regime in Cuba. The latter is a result of the activities to promote human rights carried out by the proposed beneficiaries, who also participate in public events denouncing acts of state repression, in clear opposition to the demands of state agents who have intimidated them into abandoning those activities under penalty of being subjected to criminal investigations.

In this regard, the Commission considers that the information presented shows prima facie that Juan Antonio Madrazo Luna, Marthadela Tamayo and Oswaldo Navarro Veloz are in a serious and urgent situation, given that their rights to life and personal integrity are at risk of irreparable harm. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure, the Commission requests that Cuba: a) adopt the necessary measures to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of Juan Antonio Madrazo Luna, Marthadela Tamayo, and Oswaldo Navarro Veloz. To this end, the State must both ensure that state actors respect the life and personal integrity of the beneficiaries, as well as protect their rights in relation to acts of risk that are attributable to third parties, in accordance with the standards established by international human rights law; b) adopt the necessary measures so that Juan Antonio Madrazo Luna, Marthadela Tamayo and Oswaldo Navarro Veloz can carry out their activities as human rights defenders, without being subjected to acts of violence, intimidation, and harassment in the exercise of their work. The above includes the adoption of measures to protect their right to freedom of expression; c) consult and agree upon the measures to be adopted with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and d) report on the actions taken to investigate the alleged incidents that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure, so as to prevent those incidents from reoccurring.

The granting of the precautionary measure and its adoption by the State do not constitute prejudgment on a possible petition before the inter-American system alleging violations of the rights protected in the American Convention or 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. 012/21