IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of José Santos Sánchez and His Family in Nicaragua

October 28, 2022

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 57/2022 on October 24, 2022, to grant precautionary measures in favor of José Santos Sánchez and his family in Nicaragua, in the belief that they face a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their rights.

According to the organization who requested these precautionary measures, José Santos Sánchez is identified or perceived as a critic of Nicaragua's current government. He is reportedly being held at Jorge Navarro prison, also known as La Modelo, in inadequate conditions and without the timely medical care he requires. In keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR asked the State of Nicaragua for information but did not receive an answer.

After assessing the legal and factual allegations made by the requesting organization, the IACHR considered that José Santos Sánchez and his family are at risk. The risks cited in the request for these precautionary measures allegedly persist and are likely to get worse, given the current context in Nicaragua. The family of Santos Sánchez is allegedly in danger of retaliation, considering the hounding and harassment they have already been subjected to. The request for these precautionary measures also expresses concern about allegations of physical and psychological torture perpetrated against Santos Sánchez, which has reportedly impacted his health and could be linked to his current symptoms. Consequently, in keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission asked the Nicaraguan State to take the following action:

  1. Adopt any measures necessary to protect the rights to life, personal integrity, and health of José Santos Sánchez and his family
  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 is not subjected to threats, intimidation, harassment, or physical violence within penitentiary facilities; (ii) immediately conducting a specialist medical examination of his current health condition, so he receives adequate specialized care; (iii) providing the beneficiary with the treatment and medication he needs to address his health issues; (iv) providing the beneficiary with adequate food; and (v) considering alternatives to deprivation of liberty, given the beneficiary's conditions of detention and the state of his health
  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 events that have given rise to the adoption of this resolution, 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. 242/22

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