Press Release

IACHR Congratulates State of Bolivia for Attaining Full Compliance with Friendly Settlement Concerning Alfredo Díaz Bustos Case

March 28, 2019

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to declare full compliance with Friendly Settlement Report 97/05, concerning Case 12,475—Alfredo Díaz Bustos, Bolivia—and will stop monitoring it.

The case concerns the State’s international responsibility for violating the rights of a Jehovah’s Witness who was called to mandatory military service on February 29, 2000. On July 4, 2005, the parties signed a friendly settlement that was approved by the IACHR on October 27, 2005.

The IACHR highlighted the case’s individual outcomes and observed that the State handed over the victim’s military record free of charge. The Commission further highlighted the case’s structural outcomes and observed that the State had incorporated the right to conscientious objection concerning military service into normative bills to reform its military legislation—which were being reviewed by the National Defense Ministry and the Armed Forces—in compliance with international human rights law. Further, the IACHR observed that the State had undertaken actions necessary to promote legislative debate on conscientious objection to military service. In that context, the Commission urged legislative authorities to end as soon as possible the ongoing debate on such proposed legislation.

The Inter-American Commission closely followed the implementation of the friendly settlement that was agreed in this case. The IACHR highly commended both parties for their efforts in negotiations and, later, during the monitoring stage of the friendly settlement. Based on information provided by the parties during the monitoring process, the IACHR declared that full compliance with this friendly settlement had been attained, and consequently ended its supervision of compliance.

The IACHR commends the Bolivian State on its efforts to solve cases that are taken before the friendly settlement mechanism and congratulates it for the full implementation of this friendly settlement. The Commission further congratulates the petitioning party for all its efforts to advance toward full compliance with this friendly settlement.

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. 082/19