Press Release

IACHR Decides to Expand Precautionary Measures in Favor of Certain Media Workers and Journalists at Confidencial and La Costeñísima in Nicaragua

February 7, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - On February 5, 2020, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 10/2020 (link in Spanish) and Resolution 11/2020 (link in Spanish), granting precautionary protection measures in favor of certain workers and journalists at two media outlets, Confidencial and La Costeñísima, in Nicaragua, whom it deems to be at serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their human rights. The IACHR previously granted precautionary measures in favor of Carlos Fernando Chamorro Barrios and other Confidencial journalists through Resolution 91/2018 (link in Spanish) on December 21, 2018, and in favor of Sergio Warren León Corea and others at La Costeñísima through Resolution 32/2019 (link in Spanish) on June 15, 2019.

In reaching its decision, the IACHR took into consideration the fact that workers and journalists at Confidencial are working in precarious conditions, having lost access to their main facilities and much of their equipment. They are also allegedly being repeatedly subjected to monitoring, threats, intimidation, and acts of violence by people close to the government or state agents. With regard to the journalist from La Costeñísima, the IACHR noted that he has allegedly been subjected to continuous, close monitoring by police agents, some of whom were armed. The agents in question were allegedly stationed near his house at different times of the day and photograph or film what goes on within it.

Specifically, it has been reported that this police presence has meant that the journalist in question is unable to move about freely, travel to his workplace, and carry out his reporting work. In both cases, the media workers and journalists in question have been publicly discredited and described as “media terrorists” who are “plotting a coup d’état,” respectively. This treatment and these actions are allegedly putting serious limitations on their ability to carry out their journalism work.

After analyzing the available information, the IACHR concluded that, in the light of the prima facie standard, the circumstances in which the people in question find themselves are serious and urgent since their rights to life and personal integrity are at risk of irreparable harm. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR requested that Nicaragua take the necessary steps to guarantee the rights to life and personal integrity of the beneficiaries. To that end, the state must guarantee that its agents respect the beneficiaries’ rights in accordance with the standards set out in international human rights law, while also protecting their rights in relation to risks posed by third parties. Likewise, the IACHR requests that the state take measures to ensure that the beneficiaries can go about their work freely; that it determine the measures to be implemented in consultation with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and that it report on the actions it takes to investigate the allegations that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure, so as to prevent them from being repeated.

The fact that this precautionary measure has been granted and its adoption by the state does not entail a prejudgment on any petition that may eventually be filed before the inter-American system to allege that the rights protected by the American Convention on Human Rights and other applicable instruments have been violated.

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. 029/20