Resolution IACHR. Precautionary Measure No. 706/16 (Bahamas), 04-11-2016

CourtInter-American Comission of Human Rights
Case OutcomeGranted
Case TypePrecautionary Measures
Respondent StateBahamas
Date04 November 2016
- 1 -
Matter of Fred Smith and others regarding The Bahamas
November 4, 2016
1. On September 6, 2016, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter
“Commission” or “IACHR”) received a request for precautionar y measures presented by “The G rand
Bahama Human Rights Association” (“GBHRA”) (hereinafter “the applicant”) seeking that the IACHR
require the Commonwealth of The Bahamas (hereinafter The Bahamas” or “the State”) to adopt the
necessary protective measures to safegu ard the lives and personal integrity of the memb ers of Mr.
Fred Smith, Joseph Darville, Romauld Ferreira, Kirkland Bodie and Fr ancisco Núñez, all of them
members of the Save The Bays advocacy group (hereinafter “the proposed beneficiaries”).
According to the request for precautionary measures, the proposed beneficiaries allegedly received
threats against their lives and personal integrity as a consequ ence of their work as human rights
2. After analyzing the factual and legal arguments put forth by th e parties, the Commission considers
that the information presented demonstrates prima facie that the five identified members of Save
The Baysare in a serious and urgent situation, since their lives and per sonal integrity face an
imminent risk of irreparable harm. Consequently, according to Article 25 of the Rules of the IACHR,
the Commission requires The Bahamas to: a) Adopt the necessary measures to protect the lives and
personal integrity of the five identified members of Save The Bays and the members of their
respective nuclear families; b) Adopt the necessary measures to ensure that the identified members
of Save The Bays may pursue their work as human rights defenders without being subject to any
threats, harassments or intimidation; c) Agree on the measures to be adopted with the beneficiaries
and their representatives; and d) Report on the actions taken to investigate the alleged facts that
gave rise to the adoption of this precautionary measure in order to prevent their repetition.
3. According to the request, Save The Bay s (hereinafter, “STB”) is a Bahamian advocacy group that
defends the right to clean water, coastal access and freedom of movement in the face of alleged
unregulated developers who apparently are closely linked with State authorities (some of them are
also members of GBHRA). Over th e past 18 months, members of STB have been subject to steadily
escalating campaign of harassment, intimidation and threats of pros ecution or summary incarceration
that has been carried out by both agents of the State and individuals. Apparently, this is due to
landmark cases recently won by the proposed beneficiaries at the internal level against senior
members of the Government, as well as successful opposition to projects undertaken by certain
developers recognized as major financial backers of the current administration. The request for
precautionary measures is based on the following alleged facts and arguments:
A. As contextual information, the applicants ind icate that all five of the proposed beneficiaries
have already been directly affected by frequent efforts to harass and intimidate STB. For instance,

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