IACHR adopts precautionary measures in favour of Georgina Roxana Vargas Clarens in Nicaragua

September 1, 2021

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Washington, D.C.- On August 28, 2021, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) adopted Resolution 70/21, in which it granted precautionary measures in favour of Georgina Roxana Vargas Clarens, after considering that she finds herself in a situation of serious and urgent risk of irreparable damage to her rights in Nicaragua.

According to the request, the beneficiary, who is a press correspondent for Canal 10, a television channel in the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region of Nicaragua, finds herself at risk because she is being subjected to acts of harassment, threats and repression by State authorities and third parties, as a result of her work as a journalist.

The Commission received information from the State, in response to its request, on the existence of numerous media outlets in the country that take positions contrary to State policies, as well as that there is no prior censorship of the media or persecution of journalists. However, the IACHR observed that, beyond affirming its recognition of the right to freedom of expression and indicating that the beneficiary is not in any situation of risk that endangers her life and integrity, the State did not provide further information to disprove the events of risk alleged by the applicants under the applicable prima facie standard.

In the resolution, the IACHR considered the repressive context regarding independent journalistic activity in Nicaragua, as well as the heightened situation of risk faced by Georgina Vargas Clarens as a woman journalist. Upon analyzing the submissions of fact and law submitted by the parties, the Commission considers that the information presented shows, prima facie, that Georgina Vargas Clarens is in a serious and urgent situation, since her rights to life and personal integrity are at risk of irreparable harm.

Consequently, the IACHR requests that Nicaragua:

  1. adopt the necessary measures to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of Georgina Roxana Vargas Clarens. To this end, the State must ensure that state actors respect the life and personal integrity of the beneficiary, as well as protect her rights in relation to acts of risk that are attributable to third parties, in accordance with the standards established by international human rights law;
  2. adopt the necessary measures so that Georgina Roxana Vargas Clarens can carry out her activities as an independent journalist without being subjected to acts of violence, threats, harassment or intimidation in the exercise of her work. The above includes measures so that she can properly exercise her right to freedom of expression;
  3. consult and agree upon the measures to be adopted with the beneficiary and her representatives; and,
  4. report on the actions taken to investigate the alleged events that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure, so as to prevent such events from reoccurring.

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. 231/21

10:12 AM