IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of Martha del Socorro Ubilla, Marlon Antonio Castellón Ubilla, and Marvin Antonio Castellón Ubilla in Nicaragua

February 15, 2022

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Washington, D.C. — On February 13, 2022, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 8/2022, through which it granted precautionary measures in favor of Martha del Socorro Ubilla, Marlon Antonio Castellón Ubilla, and Marvin Antonio Castellón Ubilla in Nicaragua, whom it deems to be at serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their human rights.

According to the petitioning party, the proposed beneficiaries, who have been identified as opponents of the current Nicaraguan government, are being threatened, and have been the target of aggression, harassment, and arbitrary detentions by state and parastate authorities. This situation has worsened over time. In this context, the proposed beneficiaries were allegedly deprived of their liberty and subjected to threats, aggression, and ill-treatment by prison officials. Specifically, the IACHR noted that the proposed beneficiary Marlon Castellón Ubilla was released on December 15, 2021, and the proposed beneficiary Marvin Antonio Castellón Ubilla is still being deprived of his freedom at Jorge Navarro Penitentiary.

The State claimed that it guarantees human rights and State protection for all people within the national territory without discrimination of any kind. It also stated that the proposed beneficiaries are not at risk and that they are not "political prisoners." According to the State, two of the proposed beneficiaries have criminal records and have either been convicted of common crimes as established in the legal system or are being investigated for these. The proposed beneficiary Marlon Castellón is reportedly involved in active criminal proceedings, while the proposed beneficiary Marvin Castellón has reportedly been convicted of criminal acts. The State deemed that the proposed beneficiaries are not in a situation of risk that endangers their lives, their physical or psychological integrity, or their fundamental rights.

In response, the IACHR valued the information provided by the State regarding the circumstances in which the proposed beneficiaries were deprived of their freedom and then prosecuted, but it noted that beyond arguing that the petitioners' allegations lacked credibility, it did not provide evidence to refute them, nor did it provide information that would allow the IACHR to ascertain whether the risk factors in question had been mitigated.

After analyzing the allegations of fact and law provided by the parties, the IACHR deemed that Martha del Socorro Ubilla, Marlon Antonio Castellón Ubilla, and Marvin Antonio Castellón Ubilla are in a situation of risk, bearing in mind that the alleged events persist to date and are likely to worsen, given the current context in Nicaragua. As a consequence, in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR requested that the State of Nicaragua:

  1. adopt the necessary measures to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of Martha del Socorro Ubilla, Marlon Antonio Castellón Ubilla, and Marvin Antonio Castellón Ubilla. To that end, the State must guarantee that its agents respect the beneficiaries' rights while also protecting their rights in relation to third-party risk, in accordance with the standards established by international human rights law and with the inclusion of a gender perspective;
  2. adopt the necessary measures to ensure that the conditions in which Marvin Antonio Castellón Ubilla is being detained conform to the relevant international standards;
  3. agree on any measures to be adopted with the beneficiary and his representatives; and
  4. report on the actions it implements to investigate the alleged events that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure so as to prevent them 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 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. 030/22

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