IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) asked the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on February 22, 2023, to grant temporary measures in favor of the team of journalists at the radio station Radio La Costeñísima in Nicaragua's South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region, as well as their families. The IACHR considers they all face an extremely serious and urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their rights.
The Commission notes that Radio La Costeñísima is the only media outlet in the South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region with an independent editorial line and that it has been critical of the current Nicaraguan government for more than a decade. A former chief editor of La Costeñísima defined the station as "an independent voice" in Nicaragua's South Caribbean Coast, where there are also six pro-government radio stations.
The Commission granted precautionary measures in favor of several La Costeñísima journalists, in keeping with Article 25 of the IACHR's Rules of Procedure, after noting that they faced serious and urgent risks of suffering irreparable harm. Although the Commission has requested information from the State, it has not received a response concerning measures adopted to address these risks. This is particularly worrying given reports that these risks can essentially be attributed to officers of the State of Nicaragua or to third parties who support the government and whose actions have the consent of State authorities.
The IACHR finds that the rights of members of Radio La Costeñísima's team of journalists are in extreme danger due to their free exercise of independent journalism. Consequently, in keeping with Article 63.2 of the American Convention and Article 27 of the Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Commission asks the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to demand that the State of Nicaragua take immediate measures to protect the lives, integrity, and exercise of freedom of expression of all members of this radio station's team of journalists and their families.
The Inter-American Court grants temporary measures in extremely serious and urgent cases, to prevent irreparable harm to individuals. Temporary measures are compulsory for States, and the decisions they hold demand that States adopt specific actions to protect the rights and/or lives of the individuals who are at risk.
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.