IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 37/22 on July 28, 2022, to grant precautionary protection measures in favor of Félix Navarro Rodríguez in Cuba, in the belief that he is currently deprived of liberty and faces a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to his rights.
According to the request for these precautionary measures, the proposed beneficiary is an older person who has been deprived of liberty since July 2021, after taking part in protests. He is allegedly in harsh conditions of detention and has reportedly not received adequate medical care to date. His family and lawyer noted the difficulties and restrictions they have faced in their efforts to maintain contact with Navarro Rodríguez and to visit him, as well as to access information about his conditions of detention and his health situation. Regarding his health, Félix Navarro reportedly faces a series of medical issues—including diabetes mellitus, migraines, and well as pulmonary problems caused by past infection with COVID-19—which have allegedly got worse while he has been deprived of liberty because he is not getting the medical care he needs for his health condition. The Commission is disappointed that the State has failed to provide its own observations, although they were requested in keeping with Article 25.5 of the IACHR's Rules of Procedure.
After assessing the legal and factual allegations made by the parties who requested these precautionary measures, the IACHR considers that the proposed beneficiary, of advanced age, faces harsh conditions of detention and has not received the medical care he requires for his various pathologies, which are getting worse in this context. The Commission further noted with concern the lack of access to consistent information about the proposed beneficiary's health and conditions of detention.
The Commission considers that the information it has received shows prima facie that Félix Navarro Rodríguez is in serious and urgent danger and that his rights to life, personal integrity, and health risk suffering irreparable harm. The IACHR therefore asks Cuba to take the following action: (a) adopt any measures necessary to protect the rights to life, personal integrity, and health of Félix Navarro Rodríguez; (b) ensure that the proposed beneficiary's conditions of detention reflect the applicable international standards (in particular by, among others, (i) providing medical care in line with the prescriptions of specialist doctors, (ii) enabling regular visits from relatives and legal counsel, (iii) assessing—based on the proposed beneficiary's health and conditions of detention—whether alternative measures to deprivation of liberty might be warranted, (iv) checking hygiene and cleanliness at the site of detention, and (v) ensuring the proposed beneficiary's access to food and water considering his age and health condition); (c) come to an agreement with the beneficiary and his representatives concerning any measures that need to be taken; and (d) report on any actions adopted to investigate the alleged events that gave rise to the adoption of these precautionary measures, in order to prevent such events from happening again in the future.
The fact that these precautionary measures have been granted and their adoption by the State do not entail a prejudgment on a potential petition that may be filed before the inter-American system to allege violations of rights protected by the American Convention on Human Rights 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.