Litigation in the Inter-American System

Victims of the counter-siege of Colombia’s Palace of Justice appear before the IA Court

The subject of the hearing will be the violations committed against the 12 forcibly disappeared, 4 tortured, and the victim of extrajudicial execution

Brasilia, Monday November 11, 2013 – This Tuesday, in a public hearing before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IA Court), the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), el Colectivo de Abogados José Alvéar Restrepo (CCAJAR), the Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz, and the attorneys Jorge Molano and Germán Romero, will defend the victims of grave human rights violations perpetrated by the Colombian Armed Forces during the operation to recapture the Palace of Justice.

Tue, 11/12/2013

Audiencia ante la Corte IDH iniciará este martes 12 de noviembre

Brasilia, Monday November 11, 2013 – This Tuesday, in a public hearing before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IA Court), the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), el Colectivo de Abogados José Alvéar Restrepo (CCAJAR), the Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz, and the attorneys Jorge Molano and Germán Romero, will defend the victims of grave human rights violations perpetrated by the Colombian Armed Forces during the operation to recapture the Palace of Justice.

The hearing will take place on Tuesday, November 12 and Wednesday, November 13 in the Superior Labor Court in Brasilia, Brazil, with live transmission via the link http://www.corteidh.or.cr/

The aforementioned organizations will represent the families of Carlos Augusto Rodríguez Vera, Cristina del Pilar Guarín Cortés, David Suspes Celis, Luz Mary Portela León, Bernardo Beltrán Hernández, Héctor Jaime Beltrán Fuentes, Gloria Estela Lizarazo, Ana Rosa Castiblanco, Gloria Anzola de Lanao, Lucy Amparo Oviedo, Norma Constanza Esguerra, and that of the M19 Guerrilla Irma Franco Pineda. Equally, they will represent the four victims of arbitrary detention and torture; Yolanda Santodomingo Albericci, Eduardo Matson Ospino, Orlando Quijano and José Vicente Rubiano Galvis. Finally, they will address the forced disappearance and subsequent extrajudicial execution of the Auxiliary Magistrate to the Council of the State, Carlos Horacio Urán.

During the hearing a victim of torture, the brother of one of the disappeared, and the wife of an executed magistrate will give testimony. Additionally, evidence will be presented before the Court by a diverse group of international experts.

The present case relates to the events which occurred on November 6 and 7, 1985, during the siege of the Palace of Justice in Bogota, Colombia, by the guerilla group M-19 and the subsequent counter-siege carried out by the Army. These events led to the forced disappearance of 12 people, four of whom were tortured, and the disappearance and subsequent extrajudicial execution of a magistrate by the Armed Forces.

Following 28 years of waiting, the case was elevated to the highest instance of human rights protection on the continent. The objective of its presentation before the IA Court is to identify the whereabouts of the disappeared, and similarly establish the responsibility of the Colombian State for these human rights violations. The State will carry out a partial recognition of responsibility, which will be responded to during the hearing by the victims and their families.

In the course of the following year, the Court will issue a sentence on the case.

 

For more information:


Daniela Araya                                                                        Ana Paula Barreto Da Silva

Communications Office                                                              Contact in Brasil

(506) 2280-7473 / 506 8820-8588                                             (61) 8120-0839

daraya@cejil.org imprensacejil@cejil.org

 

International complaint against the Guatemalan State for rejection of justice in genocide case

Washington, D.C., November 6, 2013. Today, November 6, a complaint was filed before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) by victims who survived the genocide in Guatemala, alongside various social organizations. The complaint denounces the Guatemalan State for the impunity which continues to surround grave human rights violations committed against the Ixil indigenous population, and bases its argument on the violation of the American Convention on Human Rights and other international human rights treaties.

Wed, 11/06/2013

Conferencia de Prensa: Petición de Genocidio contra el Estado de Guatemala

Washington, D.C., November 6, 2013. Today, November 6, a complaint was filed before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) by victims who survived the genocide in Guatemala, alongside various social organizations. The complaint denounces the Guatemalan State for the impunity which continues to surround grave human rights violations committed against the Ixil indigenous population, and bases its argument on the violation of the American Convention on Human Rights and other international human rights treaties.

The petitioning organizations assert that the Guatemalan State has failed to comply with its obligation to guarantee victims their right to justice, since for more than 30 years, none of those responsible for the violations suffered by thousands of victims have been tried.

The responsibility of the State is necessary, particularly given that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has established that “impunity fosters chronic recidivism of human rights violations and total defenselessness of victims and their relatives”.

In relation to the genocide of the ethnic group Maya Ixil, more than 60 massacres and attacks carried out by members of the Guatemalan army were denounced. These events left approximately 1771 mortal victims, as well as numerous victims of forced disappearance, sexual violence, torture and forced displacement.

Furthermore, with regards to the trial of ex Generals Efraín Ríos Montt and Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez, the deficiencies and irregularities of the resolutions emitted by the authorities during the criminal process were similarly denounced. Amongst the noted issues were: the lack of access to the archives in the Ministry of Defense; the judicial authorities’ tolerance of the abuse of the recourse of legal protection and the arbitrary nature of the rulings on provisional legal protection; the excessive duration of the criminal process; the attacks on judicial independence, and the lack of protection for participants in the process.

In particular, the irregularities which characterized the resolution passed on May 20, 2013 by three members of the Constitutional Court were highlighted. Following this resolution, the process being carried out against the aforementioned military members was annulled.

In light of the above, the petitioners felt it necessary to turn to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in the hope that the regional human rights system will accelerate the petition’s process and ensure the international protection of the victims in the briefest time period possible. As such, we request an admissibility decision of the Commission on the present complaint.

The right to resort to international justice systems is consecrated in international treaties and the Political Constitution of the Republic of Guatemala. As such, we turn to Inter-American System for the Protection of Human Rights with the objective of ensuring that the State complies with its international obligations on human rights. While impunity continues to exist in Guatemala, neither respect for human rights nor a full democracy can be ensured.

 

For the right to a fair country!

 

Asociación para la Justicia y Reconciliación - AJR

Centro para la Acción Legal en Derechos Humanos – CALDH

Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)

Bufete Jurídico por los Derechos Humanos - BDH

Dominican Republic denies discrimination and collective expulsions before the Inter-American Court

Mexico City and Santo Domingo, October 9, 2013 – This Wednesday the public hearing on the case Benito Tide Méndez and others before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights concluded. This case addresses the arbitrary detention and subsequent expulsion of 27 people, the majority of whom are Dominican nationals, and 12 of whom were children at the time of their expulsion.

The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), Movimiento de Mujeres Dominico-Haitianas (Movement of Dominico-Haitian Women, MUDHA), Groupe d'Appui aux Rapatriés et Réfugiés (Support Group for Refugees and Repatriated Persons, GARR), and Columbia Law School Human Rights Law Clinic acted as representatives for the victims before the Inter-American Tribunal.  The hearing was held in Mexico City, during the Inter-American Court’s 48th Period of Ordinary Sessions.

Wed, 10/09/2013

Audiencia ante la Corte IDH en la ciudad de México sobre el caso Benito Tide Méndez y otros

Mexico City and Santo Domingo, October 9, 2013 – This Wednesday the public hearing on the case Benito Tide Méndez and others before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights concluded. This case addresses the arbitrary detention and subsequent expulsion of 27 people, the majority of whom are Dominican nationals, and 12 of whom were children at the time of their expulsion.

The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), Movimiento de Mujeres Dominico-Haitianas (Movement of Dominico-Haitian Women, MUDHA), Groupe d'Appui aux Rapatriés et Réfugiés (Support Group for Refugees and Repatriated Persons, GARR), and Columbia Law School Human Rights Law Clinic acted as representatives for the victims before the Inter-American Tribunal.  The hearing was held in Mexico City, during the Inter-American Court’s 48th Period of Ordinary Sessions.

The representing organizations highlighted the pattern of mass expulsions and the denationalization policy directed at Dominicans of Haitian descent with parents holding an irregular status in the country, showing the Tribunal that the events of the present case did not occur in isolation.

Francisco Quintana, CEJIL’s Program Director for the Andean, North America and Caribbean Region, mentioned that, “the hearing allowed us to demonstrate the racial discrimination in the treatment of the afro-descendant population, particularly of Haitians and those of Haitian descent.” Quintana further added that it is regrettable that the Dominican State did not respect the right to defense; “in the hearing, the government representative presented evidence in an inappropriate moment and manipulated the statement of the only witness.”

“Surprisingly, in order to deny racial discrimination, the Dominican State employed elements of nationalism and xenophobia” noted Cristiana Luis Francisca, President of MUDHA.  She added that, “the debate will not in end with this hearing; our organizations will continue looking for justice at both the internal level and before international bodies.”

“The State’s arguments were inconsistent and contradictory in denying the existence of a pattern of collective expulsions, which occurred not only during the period in which the events of this case took place, but are currently being perpetuated”, remarked Paola García Rey from the Columbia Law School Human Rights Law Clinic.

Likewise, Lisane André of GARR added that, “the repatriations in 1991 gave birth to our work, in a moment when expulsions reached highs of 35 thousand people.  We hope that as a result of this case, as the discussed human rights standards are applied and collective expulsions cease, we will be able to put aside this strong aspect of our work.”

At the close of the hearing the organizations asked that the Court issue a judgment which ensures integral reparation to the victims.  In light of the behavior of the State during the hearing, the organizations representing the victims feel that particular importance must be placed on the recognition of international responsibility and the realization of public apology for the events in the case.

After the hearing, the organizations and the Dominican State must present their final written arguments within a month, respectively.  A decision is expected from the Inter-American Court by the beginning of the next year.

The hearing was transmitted live and can be accessed on the Inter-American Court’s website www.corteidh.or.cr.

Dominican Republic must answer to charges of racial discrimination, collective expulsions and arbitrary deprivation of nationality

Mexico City, D.F., October 7, 2013 – On October 8, 2013, in the Library of the Citadel in Mexico City, a public hearing on the case Benito Tide Méndez et al v. Dominican Republic will begin. This cases addresses the collective expulsion of six family groups between 1999 and 2000.

The case deals with the structural racial discrimination which exists on the island. This discrimination manifests itself in terms of the exclusion and restriction of the rights of the Dominican population of Haitian ancestry, the group to which the majority of victims in the present case pertain.

Mon, 10/07/2013

 República Dominicana deberá responder sobre sobre discriminación racial, expulsiones masivas y privación arbitraria de nacionalidad

Mexico City, D.F., October 7, 2013 – On October 8, 2013, in the Library of the Citadel in Mexico City, a public hearing on the case Benito Tide Méndez et al v. Dominican Republic will begin. This cases addresses the collective expulsion of six family groups between 1999 and 2000.

The case deals with the structural racial discrimination which exists on the island. This discrimination manifests itself in terms of the exclusion and restriction of the rights of the Dominican population of Haitian ancestry, the group to which the majority of victims in the present case pertain.

One of the consequences of this phenomenon, which will be specifically addressed in the hearing, is the collective expulsion of afro descendents without the implementation of the necessary measures to ensure due process on immigration, on the basis that their skin color determines their status as foreigners.

The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), Movimiento de Mujeres Dominico-Haitianas (Movement of Dominico-Haitian Women, MUDHA), Groupe d'Appui aux Rapatriés et Réfugiés (Support Group for Refugees and Repatriated Persons, GARR), and Columbia Law School Human Rights Law Clinic, New York will act as the representatives of the victims before the Inter-American Court in this public hearing.

Francisco Quintana, CEJIL’s Program Director for the Andean, North America and Caribbean Region, stated that: “the negation of racial discrimination constitutes the greatest obstacle to the seeking of an effective solution to the problems that the affected population suffers. This issue is extremely serious; we are talking about structural discrimination which has impacted, as well as in terms of expulsions, on the restriction of the recognition of fundamental rights such as nationality”.

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination analyzed this phenomenon and concluded in its March 2013 report on the nation that structural discrimination directly affects the afro descendent population, submitting them to clear exclusion and a restriction of their fundamental rights and opportunities for development.

The international organism requested various measures for the implementation of public policies which recognize and identify the statistics of existing racial discrimination, adjusting migratory policies and impeding the denationalization of people whose situations could lead them to a condition of statelessness.

“We hope that the Inter-American Court takes on board the diverse analysis and pronouncements made by the Committee, as well as by the Committee on the Rights of Children and the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, in relation to the Dominican State”, added Paola García Rey, consultant for the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Colombia.

Cristiana Luis Francisca, President of Mudha, pointed out that “once again we have had to turn to the Inter-American System of Human Rights. The Dominican State has not left us any other alternative, as the frequent violation of rights continues to be a national reality. Equally, there is a lack of open and respectful dialogue between human rights and the authorities and organizations. Today, we are before the Inter-American Court, and if it is necessary, we will resort to the United Nations”.

During the hearing before the Inter-American Court on October 8, the judges will hear declarations presented by the representative organizations. Amongst them are the testimony of one of the Dominican victims expelled alongside with his family in 2000; the testimonies of two experts in migration policy and the correct application of international law standards on this issue; and an expert on racial discrimination in America and Africa.

The organizations request that in its decision on the case, the Inter-American Court grants integral reparations to the victims, including a public apology for the events in the name of the State. Furthermore, they request that it establishes the measures that the Dominican State must adopt in order to avoid the repetition of events. Recognizing the existing problem of racial discrimination is the first step necessary for the reversal of the patterns of exclusion and xenophobia within the nation.

Inter-American Court declares wide ranging incompliance with reparation measures issued in the case Environmentalists against Mexico

Continued failure to meet reparation measures of the 2010 sentence

• Highlights the absence of reforms to the Military Code of Justice

• Almost three years after the sentence, lack of dilligence in the torture investigation persists

On August 21, 2013, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IA Court) published its first resolution regarding the monitoring of compliance with the judgment in the case Cabrera García and Montiel Flores v. México, also known as the Environmentalists case. In the resolution, the IA Court declared that Mexico has failed to comply with several of the most significant reparation measures ordered in its sentence in November 2010, in which it was confirmed that the Mexican State had violated, amongst others, the rights to humane treatment, to personal liberty, and to judicial protection of Teodoro Cabrera and Rodolfo Montiel.

Mon, 09/23/2013

  • • Highlights the absence of reforms to the Military Code of Justice

• Almost three years after the sentence, lack of dilligence in the torture investigation persists

  • On August 21, 2013, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IA Court) published its first resolution regarding the monitoring of compliance with the judgment in the case Cabrera García and Montiel Flores v. México, also known as the Environmentalists case. In the resolution, the IA Court declared that Mexico has failed to comply with several of the most significant reparation measures ordered in its sentence in November 2010, in which it was confirmed that the Mexican State had violated, amongst others, the rights to humane treatment, to personal liberty, and to judicial protection of Teodoro Cabrera and Rodolfo Montiel.

As the Court asserts, the State of Mexico continues to fail to meet the essential reparation measures ordered in the sentence. Said measures aim to provide reparation for damages incurred, with a view to guaranteeing that these types of human rights violations do not reoccur.

In regards to this, the Inter-American Tribunal emphasized that the Military Code of Justice has still not been reformed to guarantee that human rights violations are investigated and tried by civil authorities. This is a reform ordered by the IA Court in four consecutive cases against Mexico.  On this occasion the Court recalled that “article 57 of the Code of Military Justice is incompatible with the American Convention” and reiterated the obligation to reform it.

On another note, almost three years have passed since the sentence was issued but the investigation and sanction of the grave abuses committed against the victims has still not been completed. As such, the IA Court indicated: “this Tribunal confirms that more than two years after the initiation of the preliminary investigation, there have been few judicial proceedings aimed at determining the alleged perpetrators responsible for the events of the present case.” In consideration of this, the Court “urges the State to carry out, within a reasonable period, the pending proceedings within the preliminary investigation.” It is important to note that there is ample documentation regarding the torture suffered by the victims in this case, and furthermore, some of those responsible for the crimes have been fully identified. As such, despite 14 years having passed since the events, all aspects for the advancement of the investigation are available.

Finally, the IA Court reiterated the State’s obligation to modify the registers of detained people to prevent violations of human rights.  The Inter-American Tribunal will continue monitoring the case until the State of Mexico has fully complied with all the reparation measures ordered in the sentence.

Considering this, the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center (Center Prodh) and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), representatives of the victims before the IA Court, demand that Mexico effectively complies with its international obligations and consequently with the totality of the measures ordered by the said Tribunal.

 

Contact information:

 

Center Prodh:

Quetzalcoatl g. Fontanot

Communication and Analysis

Tel. 5546 8217, ext. 110;

5546 6559 (director);

55 8531 2218 (mobile)
E-mail: comunicacion@centroprodh.org.mx

 

 

CEJIL:

Daniela Araya

Communications Officer

Tel. (+506) 2280-7473

daraya@cejil.org

 

 

Inter-American Court declares Peru’s failure to comply with decision on the forced disappearance of Kenneth Anzualdo

Non-compliance with the sentence issued on the case on September 22, 2009

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has established Peru’s failure to comply with the sentence issued on a case addressing the forced disappearance of the 25 year old student Kenneth Anzualdo in 1993. The sentence, emitted on September 22, 2009, established the responsibility of the State for the forced disappearance of Anzualdo as well as for the violation of the right to personal integrity, access to justice, and to a fair trial of his family members. In a Resolution published on September 13, the Inter-American Court evidenced the lack of actions taken by the State to discover the truth, find the body of the victim and to provide comprehensive compensation for the damage caused to his family.

Wed, 09/18/2013

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has established Peru’s failure to comply with the sentence issued on a case addressing the forced disappearance of the 25 year old student Kenneth Anzualdo in 1993. The sentence, emitted on September 22, 2009, established the responsibility of the State for the forced disappearance of Anzualdo as well as for the violation of the right to personal integrity, access to justice, and to a fair trial of his family members. In a Resolution published on September 13, the Inter-American Court evidenced the lack of actions taken by the State to discover the truth, find the body of the victim and to provide comprehensive compensation for the damage caused to his family.

Almost four years after the issuing of the sentence, the Court confirms that the only reparation measure which has been fully complied with by the nation is the act of public recognition. This act, which the Court ordered to take place within the first six months following the emission of the sentence, took place on July 23 of the current year.

The Court also highlighted the absence of concrete advances in the investigation and sanctioning of those responsible, as well as the lack of progress in the search for and localization of Kenneth Anzualdo and his mortal remains. Furthermore, the overwhelming importance of Kenneth’s family receiving the ordered reparations and personalized medical attention in line with their needs was reiterated. Finally, the Court insisted that measures to honor the memory of Kenneth Anzualdo were carried out, such as the publication of the sentence in a national newspaper and the placement of a plaque in the Memorial Museum.

Despite the Court requiring information from the Peruvian State During at various different points during the process of supervision of the sentence, the State only provided necessary information on one occasion. As such, the Court ordered that Peru present a detailed report before 30 October 2013, asserting that “the States Parties to the Convention must ensure compliance with its provisions and their inherent effects () within their respective domestic legal systems”, and that they must inform the Court about the measures adopted for fulfillment of the terms of judgments.

Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of CEJIL, states that “This resolution serves to show that Peru must strengthen its efforts to punish gross human rights violations committed during the internal conflict”. Both CEJIL and APRODEH hope that the State takes urgent measures to implement all aspects of the sentence, in accordance with its international obligations.

Contact in Washington DC

Francisco Quintana

Director of the Program for the Andean Region, North America and the Caribbean

Email: fquintana@cejil.org

Tel: (1) 202 319 3000

Contact en Peru

Gloria Cano

Executive Director of Association Pro Derechos Humanos

Email: gloria@aprodeh.org.pe

Tel: +51-1-424-7057

 

 

 

 

Peru recognizes its responsibility for the forced disappearance of Kenneth Ney Anzualdo

A first step, four years after the Inter-American Court judgment.

On July 23, 2013, in a public ceremony in the presence of the President of the Council of Ministers, the Peruvian Minister of Justice recognized the responsibility of the Peruvian State for the forced disappearance of Kenney Ney Anzualdo and asked for the forgiveness of his relatives. This public act of responsibility was ordered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the judgment issued on the case on September 22, 2009.


 

 

Thu, 08/01/2013

On July 23, 2013, in a public ceremony in the presence of the President of the Council of Ministers, the Peruvian Minister of Justice recognized the responsibility of the Peruvian State for the forced disappearance of Kenney Ney Anzualdo and asked for the forgiveness of his relatives. This public act of responsibility was ordered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the judgment issued on the case on September 22, 2009.

The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos (APRODEH), the representatives of the victims and their family members, recognize that the realization of this ceremony constitutes the first step in repairing the damage to his family.  However, it is important to consider that almost 4 years have passed since the judgment was emitted, and it is the only measure ordered by the Court that has been complied with by the State.

In its judgment, the Court determined that the State was responsible for the forced disappearance of 25 year old Kenneth Ney Anzualdo in 1993, as well as for violating the rights of personal integrity, access to justice, and the judicial guarantees of his family members.

The sister of the disappeared victim, Marly Anzualdo, participated in the ceremony and highlighted that the Peruvian State still has not adopted measures for the identification of persons disappeared during the armed conflict.  More than 20 years after the disappearance of her brother Kenneth, the authorities have yet to find his remains and sanction those responsible.

Furthermore, the Peruvian State has not complied with the guarantee of non-repetition established in the judgment, which ordered the State to reform the penal code so that the crime of forced disappearances is treated in line with international standards.

CEJIL and APRODEH hope that this act of recognition of responsibility constitutes a demonstration of the Peruvian State’s will to comply with all the orders of the judgment, and will translate into the adoption of effective measures for its full implementation.

Contact in Washington, DC

Francisco Quintana

Program Director for the Andean, North American, and Caribbean Region.

Email: fquintana@cejil.org

Tel: +1-202-319-3000

Contact in Peru

Gloria Cano

Executive Director of the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos (APRODEH)

Email: Gloria@aprodeh.org.pe

Tel: +51-1-424-7057

Important links:

Inter-American Commission expands precautionary measures for Guantánamo detainees

CEJIL and CCR applaud IACHR’s call for United States to immediately close the detention center

Washington, DC, July 31, 2013.- The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) applaud the decision taken, on its own initiative, by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR, Commission) on July 23, 2013, to order the United States to expand the scope of the precautionary measures to safeguard the life and integrity of the 166 men detained in the US detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Thu, 08/01/2013

Washington, DC, July 31, 2013.- The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) applaud the decision taken, on its own initiative, by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR, Commission) on July 23, 2013, to order the United States to expand the scope of the precautionary measures to safeguard the life and integrity of the 166 men detained in the US detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

 

The IACHR first ordered precautionary measures to prevent irreparable harm to the men detained in Guantánamo in 2002, and since then has issued two Resolutions calling on the United States to close the detention center without delay. This extension comes after CEJIL and CCR reported on the urgent and serious situation facing the men in Guantánamo in their March 2013 thematic hearing. In this hearing, the Commission heard about the non-compliance of the United States with the precautionary measures already in force and the irreparable harm that the passage of time was causing to the detainees held without trial or release. Since then, the IACHR has requested information from the US government about the unnecessary and humiliating searches, the force-feeding of detainees who have chosen to participate in a hunger strike, and the increasing segregation and isolation of detainees. Similar requests to the US government were made by an IACHR-UN Joint Declaration issued on May 1, 2013.

 

On its July 23rd extension of the precautionary measures, the IACHR took into account the human rights obligations of the United States as a Member State of the OAS, and the ongoing risk of irreparable harm to the rights of detainees that is aggravated with the passage of time, and decided to order the United States:

 

  1. To proceed to immediately close the detention facilities at the Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay;
  2. The detainees should be transferred to home or third countries in observance of human rights guarantees, including the obligation not to return them to places where they would be subject to torture, ill-treatment or persecution;
  3. The release of those who have already been cleared for transfer should be expedited; and
  4. Any detainees subject to trial should be housed in appropriate conditions and accorded applicable due process rights.

 

The IACHR is not only overviewing the situation in Guantánamo Bay through precautionary measures. In 2012, the IACHR declared admissible the landmark case of Djamel Ameziane, a client represented by CEJIL and CCR who has been detained in Guantánamo without charge since 2002 and was cleared for release in 2008. This ruling marks the first time the IACHR has accepted jurisdiction over the case of a man detained at Guantánamo, and underscores the fact that there has been no effective domestic remedy available to victims of unjust detention and other abuses at the base.

 

CEJIL and CCR call the United States to take specific steps to close the detention center without further delay, safely transfer detainees home or to third countries, and ensure detainees have effective access to justice, all in accordance with international standards that require respect for personal autonomy and dignity, in compliance with the IACHR’s decision.

 

Contact information

 

The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)

Francisco Quintana,

Program Director for the Andean, North America and Caribbean Region

fquintana@cejil.org

202-319-3000

Useful links:

  • Resolution 2/11 – Regarding the Situation of the Detainees at Guantánamo Bay, United States, Precautionary Measures 259-02

UN and IACHR issue joint statement calling on United States to close Guantánamo

CEJIL and CCR demand end to indefinite detention as hunger strike threatens lives of over 100 men

New York and Washington, DC, May 1, 2013—The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) join the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in demanding that the United States take immediate steps to end the crisis currently unfolding in the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base and close the detention center.

At this moment, over 100 of the men still detained in Guantánamo are involved in a hunger strike now in its third month, and are risking their very lives in order to protest their continued arbitrary, indefinite detention in Guantánamo. Over one-fifth of these men are being force-fed by the United States military. Additionally, the United States still refuses to allow IACHR and UN experts to visit prisoners in Guantánamo.

 

Wed, 05/01/2013

New York and Washington, DC, May 1, 2013—The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) join the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in demanding that the United States take immediate steps to end the crisis currently unfolding in the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base and close the detention center.

 

At this moment, over 100 of the men still detained in Guantánamo are involved in a hunger strike now in its third month, and are risking their very lives in order to protest their continued arbitrary, indefinite detention in Guantánamo. Over one-fifth of these men are being force-fed by the United States military. Additionally, the United States still refuses to allow IACHR and UN experts to visit prisoners in Guantánamo.

 

The Inter-American Commission and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the UN Special Rapporteur on countering terrorism, the UN Special Rapporteur on health, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, in their joint communication, “call urgently on the Government of the United States of America to respect and guarantee the life, health and personal integrity of detainees at the Guantánamo Naval Base, particularly in the context of the current hunger strike.”

 

The Inter-American Commission, a human rights body of the OAS, has actively monitored the situation in Guantánamo since it first issued precautionary measures in 2002, as part of its mandate to issue important measures of protection in serious and urgent situations to prevent irreparable harm. The IACHR has repeatedly called on the United States to close Guantánamo, as have the UN special mandate-holders and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. In the statement, the Inter-American Commission recalls the information given by CEJIL and CCR during our thematic hearing at the IACHR’s March 2013 sessions including “specialized information on the severe and lasting physiological and psychological damage caused by the detainees’ high degree of uncertainty over basic aspects of their lives, such as knowing whether or not they will be tried; whether they will be released and when; or whether they will see their family members again.”

 

“At Guantánamo, the indefinite detention of individuals, most of whom have not been charged, goes far beyond a minimally reasonably period of time and causes a state of suffering, stress, fear and anxiety, which in itself constitutes a form of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment,”  stressed Juan E. Méndez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.

 

CCR Executive Director Vincent Warren said, “Contrary to its international obligations, the United States government continues to imprison 166 men in Guantánamo today, including 86 men who still languish in prison despite having been cleared for release by the United States. One of these men is our client Djamel Ameziane, whose landmark case was declared admissible by the IACHR in 2012 when CEJIL and CCR brought it.”

 

“Guantánamo has become a symbol of a failed policy to deal with terrorism by curtailing rights and engaging in practices that offend the values and principles upheld by international human rights law and the American Constitution” expressed Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of CEJIL.

 

As this urgent, ongoing crisis threatens to end the lives of over 100 men, CEJIL and CCR join the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission in once again calling on the United States to end the indefinite detention of persons; fulfill its international obligations by taking concrete steps to close the detention facility without delay; safely transfer, release, and resettle detainees; and ensuring that detained men have effective access to justice. We also call on the US government to allow representatives of the Inter-American Commission and the United Nations special mandate-holders to visit Guantánamo with full access to the detained men.

Useful links:

For more information

CEJIL

Milli Legrain

202 319 3000

mlegrain@cejil.org

 

CCR

Jen Nessel

212.614.6449

JNessel@ccrjustice.org

 

Human Rights Accountability in Guatemala, Event in Washington DC

RSVP to Olivia Layug olayug@law.berkley.edu or (510) 643-0231

Tue, 05/21/2013 - 13:30 - 17:00
Open Society Foundations - 1730 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 7th Floor
Washington DC
Syndicate content