Press Release

IACHR Welcomes Compliance with Precautionary Measures for Leopoldo López and Braulio Jatar

July 10, 2017

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Washington, D.C.—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) welcomes the State of Venezuela’s compliance with the precautionary measures granted by the IACHR to protect the life and personal integrity of political leader Leopoldo López and journalist Braulio Jatar.

According to the information available, in the early morning hours of Saturday, July 8, Leopoldo López was transferred from the National Center for Military Defendants, known as the “Ramo Verde” prison, to his home in the city of Caracas, where he is under house arrest. For his part, journalist Braulio Jatar was given house arrest on May 24 as an alternative measure to pretrial detention. Both men are with their families.

On April 20, 2015, the IACHR decided to request that precautionary measures be adopted for Leopoldo López, in Venezuela. It requested that the State of Venezuela adopt the necessary measures to protect the life and personal integrity of Leopoldo López and Daniel Ceballos; guarantee that their detention conditions are brought into line with applicable international standards; and reach agreement with the beneficiaries and their representatives on the measures to be adopted.

On December 22, 2016, the IACHR decided to request that precautionary measures be adopted for Braulio Jatar, in Venezuela. It asked Venezuela to adopt the necessary measures to protect Braulio Jatar’s life and personal integrity; come to an agreement with the beneficiary and his representatives on the measures to be adopted; and report on the steps taken to investigate the allegations that led to the adoption of the precautionary measure, so as to avoid a recurrence. The IACHR is in the process of evaluating a request for an extension of precautionary measures for Braulio Jatar in relation to the exercise of his unrestricted right to freedom of expression.

In the context of these precautionary measures, the IACHR has held several working meetings in which the State and the beneficiaries’ representatives have participated. These meetings have served to facilitate dialogue between the parties and encourage compliance with the precautionary measures.

The IACHR believes that the granting of house arrest to Leopoldo López provides an opportunity for national reconciliation and for a democratic solution to the country’s crisis.

The IACHR, pursuant to its mandate and functions, offers to work with the State of Venezuela, and in this regard reiterates its request for the State of Venezuela’s consent for the IACHR to carry out an observation mission to the country, something the Commission has been requesting since 2004.

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 defense of 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. 094/17