IACHR Launches Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI)

(OAS) Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has launched its Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI, by its Spanish acronym) and deployed its technical staff, who arrived in Managua on June 24, 2018 and will remain on site as long as necessary.

The executive secretary of the IACHR, Paulo Abrao, with Antonia Urrejola, at a press conference in Washington. From Twitter

The MESENI’s goal is to follow up on the recommendations based on the IACHR’s visit to Nicaragua, including the Commission’s Preliminary Observations and its report “Serious human rights violations in the context of social protests in Nicaragua”.

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The MESENI is also expected to monitor compliance with precautionary measures granted in this context, in favor of people whose life or physical integrity is in serious danger, and to keep monitoring the human rights situation in Nicaragua in keeping with the IACHR’s mandate. With that aim in mind, the Mechanism will hold talks and working meetings with civil society, the State and other relevant actors.

The IACHR welcomes the invitation issued by the Nicaraguan government and by the parties involved in the ongoing National Dialogue for the Commission to return to the country and for the MESENI to be launched, in compliance with recommendation 15 of the Preliminary Observations.

In the context of such a recommendation, the MESENI will assist the Verification and Security Commission established in the National Dialogue’s agreement of June 15-16. The MESENI will also work to develop capabilities and provide training on international human rights standards for Nicaraguan civil society.

Further, the Mechanism’s technical staff will work alongside local authorities in Nicaragua to prepare the launch of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI, by its Spanish acronym) for Nicaragua, next week. The MESENI and the GIEI complement each other and are set to work together.

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The IACHR is also expected to articulate and coordinate its efforts with United Nations institutions—including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights—who are scheduled to arrive in Nicaragua later this week.

Given the MESENI’s nature, technical staff in Nicaragua will not be registering complaints, requests for precautionary measures or witness statements on site. However, as usual, the IACHR will continue to register complaints and requests for precautionary measures through the usual pathways, the fastest of which is the petition system portal available on the IACHR website.

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.

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