IACHR adopts precautionary measures in favour of Yoel Suárez Fernández in Cuba

April 23, 2021

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Washington, D.C.- On April 22, 2021, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) adopted Resolution 34/21, in which it granted precautionary measures in favour of Yoel Suárez Fernández, after considering that he finds himself in a situation of serious and urgent risk of irreparable damage to his rights in Cuba.

According to the request, the beneficiary is being subjected to threats, harassment, intimidations and detentions by state actors, purportedly as a result of his work as an independent journalist and writer in Cuba. The Commission regrets not having received the State's observations, even though these were requested in accordance with Article 25.5 of its Rules of Procedure.

After analyzing the submissions of fact and law presented by the applicants, the Commission considers that the information submitted demonstrates prima facie that Yoel Suárez Fernández finds himself in a serious and urgent situation, given that his rights to life and personal integrity are at risk of irreparable harm. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of the IACHR's Rules of Procedure, the Commission requests that Cuba: a) implement the necessary measures to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of Mr. Yoel Suárez Fernández and his family. To this end, the State must ensure that its agents respect the life and personal integrity of the beneficiaries, as well as protect their rights in relation to acts of risk that are attributable to third parties, in accordance with the standards established by international human rights law; b) adopt the necessary measures to ensure that Mr. Yoel Suárez Fernández can carry out his activities as an independent journalist without being subjected to acts of violence, intimidation, harassment and detention in the exercise of his work. The foregoing includes the adoption of measures so that he can exercise his right to freedom of expression; c) agree upon the measures to be implemented with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and, d) report on the actions taken to investigate the alleged events that led to the adoption of this resolution with the aim of preventing their reoccurrence.

The granting of this precautionary measure and its adoption by the State does not constitute the prejudgment of any petition that may eventually be presented before the inter-American system alleging violations of the rights protected in the American Convention and other applicable instruments.

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. 101/21