Press Release

IACHR Asks Inter-American Court of Human Rights to Extend Temporary Protection Measures in Favor of Lesther Lenin Alemán Alfaro and Freddy Alberto Navas López and Their Families, Given the Extreme Risks They Face in Nicaragua

August 25, 2021

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has asked the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to extend the temporary measures granted to protect the rights of Lesther Lenin Alemán Alfaro and Freddy Alberto Navas López, as well as their families, because they all face an extremely serious and urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their rights in Nicaragua. This request seeks an extension of measures granted on June 24, 2021 in the court decision Juan Sebastián Chamorro and Others v. Nicaragua.

In both cases, while precautionary measures in favor of these individuals have been in place since 2018 (PM-1343-18) and 2019 (PM-621-19) respectively, the risks have increased in the current context, marked by a human rights crisis in Nicaragua. The IACHR noted that Lesther Alemán belongs to the Nicaraguan University Student Movement and Freddy Navas belongs to the Nicaraguan Peasant Movement. The Commission further noted the actions taken by both individuals since the start of the human rights crisis in April 2018, as well as the demands issued by the movements they belong to for guarantees that the general election scheduled for November 2021 be democratic.

The information the Commission has received suggests that the incarceration of both individuals is closely linked to targeted efforts to silence all government critics and all individuals perceived as government critics, and to publicize the punishments awaiting anyone who demonstrates or otherwise protests against State action or who demands democratic safeguards for the upcoming general election of November 2021. There is evidence of arbitrariness in their arrest in July 2021, linked to the use of a normative framework that ultimately criminalizes the opposition. No concrete information is available on the current conditions of detention and official whereabouts of these two individuals, on the measures that are in place to protect their rights from the prevailing risks, or on the violations of due process that are being alleged.

In line with the Inter-American Court judgment in the case of Juan Sebastián Chamorro and Others, the Commission asks the State of Nicaragua to take the following measures:

  1. Immediately release Lesther Lenin Alemán Alfaro and Freddy Alberto Navas López; and
  2. Immediately adopt all necessary measures to effectively protect the lives, integrity, and personal liberty of Lesther Lenin Alemán Alfaro and Freddy Alberto Navas López, as well as members of their families.

Similarly, to ensure the enforcement of the judgments of the Honorable Inter-American Court, the Commission asks the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to demand that Nicaragua:

  1. Allow delegations of both the IACHR and the Inter-American Court to enter Nicaraguan territory, to verify the implementation of these temporary measures and to ensure they are effective.

When deciding whether to request temporary measures, the IACHR takes into consideration Article 76 of its Rules of Procedure and any available reports that suggest that the requirements held in Article 63.2 of the American Convention are met. Following the assessment process, an extension is requested considering the problems at hand, the effectiveness of State action given the situation that has been described, and the lack of protection faced by the individuals for whom temporary measures are being requested in case these measures are not granted. The decision to request temporary measures from the Inter-American Court is based on the context of these events.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights grants temporary measures in extremely serious and urgent cases, to prevent irreparable harm to individuals. Temporary measures are compulsory for States, and the decisions they hold demand that States adopt specific actions to protect the rights and/or lives of the individuals and groups who are under threat.

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. 220/21

2:48 PM