IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of Luis Robles Elizástegui in Cuba

August 10, 2022

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Washington, D.C. — On August 9, 2022, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 41/22, through which it granted precautionary protection measures in favor of Luis Robles Elizástegui, who is being deprived of his freedom in Cuba, and whom the IACHR deems to be at serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to his human rights.

According to the petition, the proposed beneficiary has been deprived of his freedom since December 2020, is allegedly being held in severe conditions of detention, and has not received medical attention to date. Likewise, his relatives and lawyer alleged that they have had difficulties visiting him, keeping in contact with him, and obtaining information about his health and the conditions of detention. The petition also noted that during his detention, Luis Robles has been the target of aggression on the part of prison staff. It stated that he suffers from chronic gastritis and needs specific medications, which he has not received since being deprived of his freedom. The IACHR expressed its regret over not having received observations from the State on this matter, despite the fact that these were requested, in accordance with article 25.5 of its Rules of Procedure.

After analyzing the de facto and de jure allegations put forward by the petitioners, the IACHR believes that the information in question proves, prima facie, that Luis Robles Elizástegui is in a position of extreme vulnerability as his rights to life, personal integrity, and health are at grave and urgent risk of suffering irreparable damage. It thus requested that Cuba:

  1. take the necessary measures to guarantee the rights to life, health, and personal integrity of Luis Robles Elizástegui;
  2. ensure that his conditions of detention are compatible with the applicable international standards on the matter. Specifically, among other measures, the State should: (i) provide medical care based on the recommendations of specialist medical professionals, (ii) allow regular visits from family members and legal representatives, (iii) evaluate an alternative measure to the deprivation of freedom, in light of the conditions of detention and the health of the proposed beneficiary, and (iv) take action to counter threats, harassment, intimidation, or acts of violence targeting the proposed beneficiary in retaliation for his having spoken out regarding his current situation;
  3. agree on any measures to be implemented 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. 178/22

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