IACHR Requests from Inter-American Court of Human Rights an Extension of Temporary Measures in Favor of 11 Individuals Who Are Deprived of Liberty in Nicaragua

January 9, 2023

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) asked the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on December 28, 2022, to extend temporary measures in favor of 11 individuals who are being deprived of liberty in Nicaragua, as well as their families, because they all face an extremely serious and urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their rights.

These 11 people are: (1) Norlan José Cárdenas Ortiz; (2) Jaime Enrique Navarrete Blandón; (3) Osman Marcel Aguilar Rodríguez; (4) Ezequiel de Jesús González Alvarado; (5) Denis Javier Palacios Hernández; (6) Uriel José Pérez; (7) Ernesto Antonio Ramírez García; (8) Edder Oniel Muñoz Centeno; (9) Nidia Lorena Barbosa Castillo; (10) Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro; and (11) José Santos Sánchez Rodríguez.

They are all beneficiaries of precautionary measures granted by the IACHR and are currently deprived of liberty at the following facilities: (1) Jorge Navarro Prison Complex in Tipitapa, known as La Modelo; (2) National Prison Service facility in Granada; and (3) Evaristo Vásquez facility operated by the Judicial Support Department, known as El Chipote or Nuevo Chipote.

The IACHR notes that these individuals are all public figures who are well-known and identified or perceived as critics of the current Nicaraguan government, since they have spoken up against State repression of civilians in the context of the ongoing human rights crisis in the country. They belong to various sectors of Nicaraguan society.

The Inter-American Commission granted precautionary measures in favor of all these individuals and their families between 2020 and 2022, in keeping with Article 25 of the IACHR's Rules of Procedure, after noting that they faced serious and urgent risks of suffering irreparable harm. Although the Commission has requested information from the State, it has not received a response concerning measures adopted to address these risks. This is particularly worrying given reports that these individuals have recently been held incommunicado, in extremely dangerous conditions of detention. These individuals are allegedly also not being given the minimum guarantees required in all criminal law proceedings, in a context where the Nicaraguan crisis continues to escalate.

The Commission finds that the rights of these 11 individuals and their families face extreme risks and that they are exposed to imminent acts of violence, in potential retaliation for any measures they take to demand justice. Consequently, in keeping with Article 63.2 of the American Convention and Article 27 of the Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Commission asks the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to demand that the State of Nicaragua take immediate measures to effectively protect the lives, integrity, health, and freedom of these 11 individuals and their families, with gender and age perspectives where required. The Commission also asks the Inter-American Court to demand that the State immediately release these 11 individuals, given the conditions of detention in which they are currently being held.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights grants temporary measures in extremely serious and urgent cases, to prevent irreparable harm to individuals. Temporary measures are compulsory for States, and the decisions they hold demand that States adopt specific actions to protect the rights and/or lives of the individuals who are at risk.

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. 002/23

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