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IACHR Submits Cases Involving Disappearance and Indigenous Land Rights to Inter-American Court

May 5, 2010 Leave a comment

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights announced today that it will litigate two cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (against Argentina and Ecuador), while the press and civil society reported that a third case against the Dominican Republic will also be heard by the court.  The IACHR press release states:

On April 18, 2010, the IACHR filed an application in Case 12.533, Iván Eladio Torres et al., Argentina. The case involves the arbitrary detention, torture, and forced disappearance of Iván Eladio Torres, which occurred beginning on October 3, 2003, in the city of Comodoro Rivadavia, in Chubut province, and the subsequent lack of due diligence in the investigation of the facts, as well as the denial of justice to the detriment of the victim’s relatives. The case was sent to the Court based on the need to conduct a diligent investigation for the purpose of obtaining truth, justice, and reparation for the damage caused by the violations perpetrated against Iván Eladio Torres and his relatives.

In another matter, on April 26, 2010, the IACHR filed an application in Case 12.465, the Kichwa Peoples of the Sarayaku Community and Its Members, Ecuador. The case involves the State’s acts and omissions to the detriment of the Kichwa indigenous people of the Sarayaku community and its members, given that the State has allowed an oil company to carry out activities on the community’s ancestral territory without prior consultation, placing the population at risk. This situation has made it impossible for the indigenous community to seek its means of subsistence in its territory and has restricted its right to movement within the territory. The case also refers to the denial of judicial protection and due process to the Kichwa people of Sarayaku. The case was sent to the Court based on the need for the State to respect and guarantee the right of the Kichwa indigenous people of Sarayaku to use, enjoy, and avail themselves of their territory.

Read the Commission’s earlier admissibility decisions in the cases here and here, respectively.

The third case submitted to the Inter-American Court, involves the disappearance of prominent Dominican journalist, lawyer and professor Narciso Gonzalez at the hands of the military in 1994.  [Diario LibreCEJIL]  Read the Commission’s admissibility report here.

ECHR Reviews Disappearance, Private and Family Life, and Freedom of Expression in Recent Judgments

April 27, 2010 Leave a comment

ECHR

The European Court of Human Rights issued a number of decisions this week and last against a number of States, including Poland, Slovakia, Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Albania, Romania, Italy, Serbia and the United Kingdom. Several of these recent judgments involved individuals who had been internally displaced by conflict or unrest, while others involved rights protected by Article 8 of the Convention (pertaining to private and family life).

In Gulmammadova v. Azerbaijan and Hasanov v. Azerbaijan, the applicants alleged the international responsibility of Azerbaijan for failing to enforce an eviction order in their favor, against the internally displaced individuals who were living in their apartment after having fled regions under the control of Armenian military forces.  In both cases, the Court found violations of Article 6.1 (fair hearing) and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (property), and ordered the State to enforce the eviction order within three months.

Read more…

This Week at the ECHR

March 24, 2010 Leave a comment

The European Court of Human Rights issued Chamber judgments in a diverse group of cases this week, finding: Russia responsible for violating, inter alia, article 6.2 (presumption of innocence) for a politician’s public comments about a defendant who had been criminally charged with rape and was pending trial at the time (Kuzmin v. Russia); Moldova responsible for violating article 2 (right to life) in connection with the inadequate investigation into a soldier’s suspicious death in 2001 (Iorga v. Moldova); the United Kingdom responsible for a violating articles 8 (private and family life) and 13 (effective remedy) in connection with a public hospital’s rush to judgment in a situation of suspected child abuse (M.A.K. and R.K. v. the United Kingdom); and, Turkey responsible for a variety of due process and inhumane treatment violations, including the use of a confession obtained through torture and failure to re-examine a key witness who had changed his version of the events (summaries here).

A Chamber hearing was held in the complaint brought against Russia by the owner of oil company YUKOS, in which it is alleged that Russian authorities forced the company’s bankruptcy and sale at auction through harassment (OAO Neftyanaya Kompaniya YUKOS v. Russia).

Additionally, the Grand Chamber decided that Croatia had violated, inter alia, article 14 of the European Convention (discrimination) when it segregated children of Roma origin from other children in public primary schools (Orsus and Others v. Croatia); and that Lithuania had breached its obligations under the European Convention when its Supreme Court refused to hear a sexual harassment complaint by an employee of the Polish embassy on sovereign immunity grounds (Cudak v. Lithuania).

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