Press Release

IACHR Grants Precautionary Protection Measures in Favor of Yonarqui de los Ángeles Martinez García and Her Family in Nicaragua

December 7, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - On December 2, 2020, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 92/2020, granting precautionary protection measures in favor of Yonarqui de los Ángeles Martinez García and his immediate family, in Nicaragua, whom it deems to be at serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their human rights.

In reaching its decision, the IACHR took into consideration the fact that according to the petition, the beneficiary is an attorney and allegedly plays an active role in defending people who have been released from prison and have been identified as suffering “political persecution.” As a result of this, she has allegedly been subjected to harassment, threats, and stalking by police officers and para-state forces, mainly when with her clients or representing them legally. The IACHR deemed that the information it had received regarding the risk the beneficiary is in, which it assessed in the context of the current situation in Nicaragua, suggests that the harassment, threats, and raids she allegedly experienced were intended not only to intimidate her but also to prevent her from going about her work as an attorney and human rights defender. Consequently, the beneficiary and her family are extremely vulnerable as a result of the situation, which is putting them at greater risk. 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 allegations of fact and law put forward by the two parties, the IACHR deemed that, prima facie, Yonarqui de los Ángeles Martinez García and her immediate family are in a serious, urgent predicament as their rights to life and personal integrity at risk of suffering irreparable damage. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR requested that Nicaragua:

a) adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the right to life and personal integrity of Yonarqui de los Ángeles Martínez García and her immediate family. In particular, the state must guarantee that both state agents and third parties respect the rights of all beneficiaries in accordance with the standards set out in international human rights law;

b) take the necessary measures to enable Yonarqui de los Ángeles Martinez García which comes to go about her work as an attorney and human rights defender without being subjected to acts of intimidation, threats, persecution, harassment, or other acts of violence in the course of doing so;

c) agree on any measures to be taken with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and

d) report on the actions it has taken to investigate the alleged events that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure and thus prevent these 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. 291/20