Press Release

IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of 41 People Deprived of Their Freedom in Nicaragua

November 4, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - On November 2, 2020, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 82/2020, through which it granted precautionary protection measures in favor of 41 people who are being deprived of their freedom in Nicaragua, whom it deems to be at serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their human rights.

According to the petition, the people in question are “political prisoners” who are being deprived of their freedom at seven different penitentiary centers in the country and are at serious risk due to the conditions in which they are being held and the alleged lack of medical care being provided in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The IACHR expressed its regret over not having received observations from the State on this matter, despite the fact that these were requested, in accordance with article 25.5 of its Rules of Procedure.

After analyzing the de facto and de jure allegations provided by the petitioners, the IACHR deemed the 41 people in question to be at risk, prima facie, according to the terms set out in Article 25 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure. Consequently, the IACHR requested that the State of Nicaragua: (a) take the necessary measures to guarantee the rights to life, personal integrity, and health of the beneficiaries; (b) that it take the necessary steps to provide the beneficiaries with immediate access to the specialized medical attention that they need, to ascertain their current medical status, determine what care they may need, and then ensure that they effectively receive this; and (c) given the fact that these people’s lives and personal integrity are at greater risk from the COVID-19 pandemic due to their circumstances in which they are being deprived of their freedom, the authorities in question must evaluate the possibility of granting alternatives to detention that comply with domestic legislation and the relevant international standards.

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 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. 266/20