Moiwana Village v. Suriname (Ser. C No. 124)

Submitted by Kelly Russo on Wed, 06/15/2005 - 00:00
Regional Decisions
Inter-American Court

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights held that Suriname violated Articles 21, 22, and 5 of the American Convention on Human Rights in failing to launch an investigation of  a State-sponsored military attack against the villagers of Moiwana, which resulted in a displacement of the residents. Additionally, the Court found there to be a violation of Article 8 and Article 25 of the American Convention due to the extended amount of time that transpired without clarification of the facts or punishment of those responsible which, the Court held, amounted to an obstruction of justice and defied the standards for access to justice and due process of the American Convention. Articles 21, 22, 5, 8, and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights recognize the right of American peoples to property, to freedom of movement and residence, to humane treatment, to judicial guarantees, and to judicial protection, respectively. The Court issued an order that Suriname investigate the attack, recover any remains of victims and deliver them to surviving community members, guarantee the safety of remaining community members, establish a community development fund and memorial to those who perished, issue a public apology, and pay just compensation to the surviving community members.

Note: Because the actual attack predated Suriname's ratification of the American Convention, the subject matter of the application centered on the denial of justice and displacement of the Moiwana people.