Report on Sessions of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights


OEA/Ser.L/V/II.11
Doc. 19 (English)
July 1, 1965
Original: Spanish




INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

REPORT ON THE WORK ACCOMPLISHED

DURING ITS TENTH SESSION

March 15-26, 1965



PAN AMERICAN UNION

General Secretariat, Organization of American States

Washington, D.C.

This document was prepared by the Secretariat of the Commission


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
I. ORGANIZATION OF THE TENTH SESSION 1
A. Opening Date and Length of Session 1
B. Members of the Commission and their Participation in the Session 2
C. Meetings and Documents 3
II. AGENDA 4
III. REPORT PREPARED BY THE SECRETARIAT ON THE WORK ACCOMPLISHED BY THE COMMISSION DURING ITS NINTH SESSION 5
IV. REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ON THE ACTIVITIES OF THE SECRETARIAT BETWEEN THE NINTH AND TENTH SESSIONS OF THE COMMISSION 6
V. VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN AMERICAN COUNTRIES 7
A. Report of the Subcommittee 7
B. New Communications or Complaints 8
C. Request for Information from the Governments and Replies Received 8
D. The case of Cuba 9
E. The case of Paraguay 10
VI. ACTIVITIES RELATED TO THE GENERAL WORK PROGRAM 11
A. Situation of Political Refugees in the Americas. Draft Resolution Prepared by the Secretariat 11
B. "Draft Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information, and Investigation", and consideration of the observations transmitted by the Governments 13
VII. REPORT TO THE SECOND SPECIAL INTER-AMERICAN CONFERENCE 19
VIII. COMMUNICATION TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES 21
IX. COMMUNICATIONS TO THE GOVERNMENTS AND TO THE COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION 22
X. DATE AND PLACE OF THE ELEVENTH SESSION 23
XI. CLOSING OF THE TENTH SESSION 23
APPENDIX - DOCUMENTS OF THE TENTH SESSION 25

 

INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
REPORT ON THE WORK ACCOMPLISHED

March 15 to 26, 1965

1.   The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights held its Tenth Session from March 15 to 26, 1965, at its permanent headquarters in the Pan American Union, Washington, D.C.

2.   The subcommittee established for the preliminary consideration of communications or complaints directed to the Commission and the formulation of pertinent recommendations to it met on March 10, 11, and 12.

3.   The opening meeting took place at 10:30 a.m. on March 15 in the Columbus Room of the Pan American Union. Present at that meeting as guests of honor were the Secretary General of the Organization, Dr. Jose A. Mora, the Assistant Secretary General, Dr. William Sanders, and the Director of the Department of Legal Affairs of the Pan American Union, Dr. Francisco Garcia Amador.

4.   In declaring the Tenth Session open, the Chairman of the Commission, Professor Manuel Bianchi welcomed the members and extended greetings to the guests of honor.  He also thanked the Secretary General for the efficient assistance given to the Commission, which had enabled it to carry out its work.  The Chairman referred to the Commission�s determination to give special attention, during the working period that had just begun, to the study of the report that would be presented to the  Second Special Inter-American Conference convoked to be held in Rio de Janeiro on May 20, the agenda of which included the subject of human rights.  He also mentioned the intention to consider two topics of the general work programs namely, the situation of  political refugees in the Americas and the observations made by the governments on the draft convention on freedom of expression information, and investigation.

5.   Subsequently, the Secretary General of the Organization thanked Dr. Bianchi for his kind words and expressed his pleasure at being present at the opening of a new session.  He mentioned the importance of the report that the Commission would present to the Second Special Inter-American Conference to be held in Rio de Janeiro, stressing the fact that topics 5 and 6 of the agenda dealt with subjects directly related to human rights.  He also pointed out the effort involved in preparing the convention on freedom of expression, information and investigation. He expressed his confidence that the Commission would be strengthened at the Rio Conference and commended the prudence with which, in his opinion, the Commission had fulfilled its mandate.

B.   Members of the Commission and their Participation in the Session

6.   The Commission is composed of the following persons:

Name
Mrs. Angela Acuna de Chacon
Prof. Manuel Bianchi Gundian
Dr. Carlos Alberto Dunshee de Abranches
Dr. Gonzalo Escudero
Dr. Gabino Fraga
Dr. Daniel Hugo Martins
Dr. Durward V. Sandifer
Country of Origin
Costa Rica
Chile
Brazil
Ecuador
Mexico
Uruguay
United States

All of the members, with the exception of Dr. Martins, attended the Tenth Session.

C.   Meeting and Documents

7.   During this session the Commission held ten meetings. The secretariat prepared summary minutes of these meetings, which are restricted to the exclusive use of the members.

8.   In accordance with Article 34 of the Regulations, the secretariat prepared a list of the communications or complaints received prior to this session and of those that were received while it was in progress, together with a summary of their contents.  The list was prepared in chronological order and by countries to which the communications related (Doc.2-XI, Rev.).

9.   The secretariat also published a document entitled: "Observaciones al Proyecto de Convenci�n Interamericana sobre Libertad de Expression, de Informaci�n y de Investigacion" ("Observation on the Draft Inter-American Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information and Investigation") (Doc.4-XI), containing the observations on the draft convention made by the Governments of Brazil, Chile,  Ecuador, the United States, and Venezuela.

10.   During the session, the secretariat published another document entitled "Proyecto de Informe sometido por la Comisi�n Interamericana de Derechos Humanos a la Segunda Conferencia Interamericana Extraordinaria""Draft of a report to be submitted by the Inter-american Commission on Human Rights to the Second Special Inter-American Conference" (Doc. XI, Rev.).  In addition, the secretariat issued several press releases through the Press Division of the Pan American Union, in order to inform the public of its activities.

11.   The Commission was provided with the technical and administrative services of its secretariat, composed of: Dr. Luis Reque, Executive Secret of the Commission, and Drs. Isidoro Zanotti, Alvaro Gomez, Renzn Minut, and Guillermo Cabrera, members of the staff.

II.  AGENDA

12.   At its first meeting, held on March 15, 1965, the Commission adopted the following agenda for the Tenth Session.

1. Report prepared by the secretariat on the work accomplished by the Commission during its Ninth Session.

2. Report of the Executive Secretary on the activities of the secretariat between the Ninth and Tenth Sessions.

3. Violations of human rights in American countries:
a)  Report of the subcommittee regarding the communications or complaints received.
b)  Study of the situation regarding human rights in American countries.

4. General work program:
a)  Situation of political refugees in the Americas.  Draft report prepared by the secretariat.
b)  "Draft Inter-American Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information, and Investigation," approved by the Commission during its Seventh Session.  Consideration of the Observations transmitted by the governments.
c)  Human rights and the right of suffrage in the Americas.

5. Report to the Second Special Inter-American Conference.

6. Date and place of the Eleventh Session.

7. Other matters.

III.  REPORT PREPARED BY THE SECRETARIAT ON THE WORK ACCOMPLISHED BY THE COMMISSION DURING ITS NINTH SESSION

13.   At the first meeting, held on March 15, 1965, the Commission approved the report prepared by the secretariat on the work accomplished by the Commission during its Ninth Session, held in Washington, D.C.,. from October 5 to 16, 1964 (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.10, Doc. 21, February 16, 1965).   That document contains a list of the activities carried out by the Commission during the aforesaid session.  One chapter of the report refers to the situation regarding human rights in American countries specifically the cases of Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and Ecuador.

14.   Another chapter of the report relates to the work carried out by the Commission in accordance with its general work program.  In regard to this subject, the report mentions that the Commission studied the following topics: Human rights and the state of siege (Dr.  Martins, rapporteur); Human rights and the right of suffrage (Dr.  Bianchi, rapporteur); and legal protection of human rights (Dr.  Fraga, rapporteur); in addition to the study made on the situation of political refugees in the Americas, and the draft convention on freedom of expression, information, and investigation.

15.   This report includes the following list of topics of the general work program that are to be considered at future sessions: the right to petition, the right of association of labor unions, the right to education, the international protection of human rights since 1959 and the fundamental human rights.  The report also mentions the possibility of holding a high-level working meeting in the field of human rights, as well as the preparation of a report that could be submitted to the next Inter-American Conference.

IV.  REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ON THE ACTIVITIES OF THE SECRETARIAT BETWEEN THE NINTH AND TENTH SESSIONS OF THE COMMISSION

16.  At the first meeting, the Executive Secretary) submitted to the consideration of the Commission the report of the secretariat on its activities between the Ninth and Tenth Sessions in compliance with the decisions taken by the Commission (Doc. 20-XI).  Reference was made to the list of communications of complaints received, prepared in chronological order and by countries (Doc. 2-XI, Rev.), and a summary of those communications for the Commission.

17.   Reference was also made in the report to the preparation of a leaflet entitled: "Derechos Humanos y Democracia Representative ("Human Rights and Representative Democracy"), based on Part, II of the report entitled.  "The Relationship between the respect for human rights and the effective exercise of representative democracy" prepared by Prof. Durward V. Sandifer, a member of the Commission.  With regard to the draft convention on freedom of expression, information, and Investigation, approved by the Commission at its Seventh Session the report points out that the secretariat prepared a document containing the observations made by governments (Doc. 4-XI).  A revised draft report was also prepared on the situation of political refugees in the Americas (Doc. 7-XI).

18.   This report also refers to the preparation of background material for the study on the international protection of human rights since 1959 (Dr. Abranchest, rapporteur); revision and expansion of the draft Report to the Second Special Inter-American Conference; preparation of a summary of the work of the commission since 1960 and steps directed toward the holding a high-level working meeting to appraise the experience of the international commission that are active in the field of human rights.

V.  VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN AMERICAN COUNTRIES

A. Report of the Subcommittee

18.   The subcommittee is composed of three members of the Commission namely:

Chairman: Professor Manuel Bianchi
Members: Doctor Gonzalo Escudero
Doctor Durwood V. Sandifer

19.   As provided for in the regulations, the subcommittee met one week prior to the opening of the session to make a preliminary study of the communications or complaints addressed to the Commission and to prepare a draft agenda for the Tenth Session. After concluding its works the subcommittee prepared a report (Doc. 6-XI), which was submitted to the Commission, containing a summary report of the study and consideration of the communications or complaints presented by the secretariat (Doc. 2-XI, Rev.), and also the recommendations relative to the cases studied, and a draft agenda for the Tenth Session.

20.   The Commission took cognizance of the report at its second meeting and instructed the secretariat to proceed according to the recommendations of the subcommittee.

B. New communications or complaints

21.   At the ninth meeting, the Commission considered new denunciations received, which are included in the Addendum presented by the secretariat at that meeting.  The Committee decided on the processing of these communications in accordance with regulations.

C. Request for information from the governments and replies received

22.   During the present session, the Commission in the exercise of its powers, requested several American governments to transmit pertinent information regarding alleged violations of human rights in their respective territories that had been denounced before this entity communications in this sense were transmitted to the governments of Cuba, Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and the United States.

23.   The Commission received a preliminary reply from the Government of the United States to the request for information made on January 18, 1965 It also received a preliminary reply from the Government of Guatemala regarding the request for information addressed to that government on December 17, 1964.  The Government of Bolivia sent a complete report to the Commission in reply to the request made by the Commission on January 18, 1965 The Government of Ecuador also sent complete information in reply o the Commissions request of January 18, 1965.

D. The case of Cuba

24.   During this working period the Commission decided to address a note to the Government of Cuba reiterating the request for information it made on October 22, 1964.

In this note the Commission pointed out that it did not share the criterion maintained by the Cuban Government in its note of November 4, 1964 addressed to the Chairman of the Commission, and it made it clear that this inter-American agency has authority to take cognizance of the situation regarding human rights in any member state of the Organization, in accordance with the mandate entrusted to it by the Fifth Meetingof Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs.

25.   The text of the note sent to the Government of Cuba on April 6, 1965 is as follows:

Sir:

          I have the honor to refer to your kind note of November 4, 1964, which this Commission received on December 28, 1964.

          You affirm in that note that the State of Cuba has been deprived of its rights by the Organization of American States.  This affirmation is not in accordance with the facts, because, as you are aware, the Eighth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs excluded "the present Government of Cuba from participation in the inter-American system." As you can see, the measure of exclusion was directed towards the presents Government of Cuba and not towards the State.

          During its Fourth Session, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights made a careful study of the scope of Resolution VI of the Eighth Meeting of Consultation and declared that it could not in any event renounce its unavoidable obligation to promote respect for human rights in all the member states of the Organization.  Consequently, the Commission decided to continue to concern itself with the situation regarding human rights in Cuba and to continue, in accordance with its regulations, to consider and process the communications or claims received with respect to this matter.  It is for this reason, in accordance with the provisions of Article 9, paragraphs b. and d. of its Statute, that the Commission has transmitted to the Government of Cuba, through you, the communications or claims directed to it with respect to your country, with a request for the pertinent information.

          Through you, I request your government to give this note its most careful attention and to be good enough to furnish this Commission with any information that it deems pertinent regarding the facts described in the Commissions note of October 22, 1964 and in the notes sent to you that are appended thereto.

          Accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Manuel Bianchi His Excellency
Chairman Dr. Raul Roa Garcia
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Havana, Cuba

E. The Case of Paraguay

26.   At the ninth meeting, the Chairman informed the Commission regarding the efforts he had been making, in compliance with the decision taken at the Ninth Session, to enable the agency to visit Paraguayan territory.

27.   The Commission authorized the Chairman to continue his efforts in this respect, and to visit Paraguay, accompanied by the Executive Secretary, at the most opportune time.

VI.  ACTIVITIES RELATED TO THE GENERAL WORK PROGRAM

A. Situation of political refugees in the Americas
Draft resolution prepared by the Secretariat

28.   During this session, the Commission continued to deal with the subject of political refugees in the Americas.
        The secretariat, in compliance with the decision of the Ninth Session, continued the preparation of a revised document on this matter, incorporating the recommendations made in this respect, in the sense of pointing out that the fundamental problem is that of American political refugees in the hemisphere, that it is related to the violation of human rights in the American countries, that it is different from the problem of diplomatic asylum, it is also an economic problem, and that it is urgent to study the possibility of issuing a travel document to refugees and of facilitating their right to work.

29.   During the ninth meeting the secretariat informed the Commission that urgent communications had been received from political refugees in the Americas, requesting the Commission to recommend to the governments that they validate the expired passports of refugees who are unable to obtain renewal of them in their countries of origin.

30.   The Commission considered the situation of refugees at its ninth meeting, and gave special attention to the problem of the lack of travel documents or valid passports, presented by the refugees.  Bearing in mind the foregoing, the Commission adopted the following resolution:

WHEREAS:

          Since its Seventh Session, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has studied and it is continuing to study, the problem of political refugees of the American states, with a view to submitting certain proposals in this regard to the governments of the member states of the Organization for consideration;

          During its Eighth Session it reached the conclusion among others, that "one of the most serious problems that confronts these refugees is the need for a travel documents; since they cannot obtain such a document from their country of origin they are prevented, in general, from leaving the country of first asylum" and recommended to the governments of the member states of the Organization that "they study the possibility of issuing a travel document to Latin American political refugees in their territories who lacked passports; and

          It has recently received several communications describing the difficulties encountered by refugees when their travel documents have expired.

          The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights RESOLVES:

          To recommend to the governments of the member states of the Organization that they consider the possibility of issuing to political refugees of the American countries who are in their territories legally travel documents that will permit them to travel outside those territories, or to study the possibility of recognizing as valid the travel documents held by those refugees, that have expired or cannot be renewed.
          (Adopted at the tenth meeting, held on March 26, 1965)

          The Commission instructed the secretariat to complete the preparation of the draft report on political refugees in the Americas, on the basis of the recommendations made during the Ninth Session.  This document will be considered at the Eleventh Session.

B. "Draft Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information, and Investigation� and considerations of the observations transmitted by the governments

31.   In accordance with the decision taken by the Ninth Session, the Commission continued to study the draft convention on freedom of expression, information and investigation during the present working period, taking into account the observations made by the governments.  In this connection the secretariat prepared a document in October 1964, containing the opinions formulated by the governments of Brazil, Ecuador, the United States, and Venezuela regarding the draft convention (Doc. 13-X).  In March 1965, the secretariat prepared a new document incorporating the observations made by the Government of Chile (Doc. 4-XI).

          The Governments of Brazil and Ecuador stated that they had no observations to make on the draft, The Governments of Chile, the United States, and Venezuela made some observations on the text, with respect to both form and substance.

32.   The Commission considered the draft convention during the eighth, ninth and tenth meetings of this Session, and made a careful analysis of Articles 1, IIg III, Vg VIg VIII, IX, X9 XII, XIV, XVI, XVII, and XVIII, regarding which the aforesaid governments had made observations. After completing an analysis of all the articles the Commission requested the Rapporteur, Dr. Escudero, to prepare a revised text of the draft in collaboration with the Executive Secretariat.  The revised text was submitted to the Commission for consideration at the tenth meeting and was unanimously approved.  It was decided to present it to the Second Special Inter-American Conference. The text of the draft convention is as follows:

WHEREAS:

          The Charter of the Organization of American States and the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man proclaim human rights and fundamental freedoms, as do the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

          Among these freedoms, those of conscience, thought, religion, opinion, expression, information and investigation are of principal importance; The respect for and protection of the aforementioned freedom and one of the foundations supporting the solidarity and unity of the Western Hemisphere, international peace, understanding and justice, and the progress of civilization;

          The freedom of opinion, expression, information, and investigation is essential to the enjoyment of the freedom of conscience, thought, and religion;

          The exercise of these freedoms presupposes the obligations and responsibilities essential to maintain compatibility with respect for the ethical personality of the individual, for society and its moral law, and for the existence and personality of the State against everything that might disturb the peace, security, and public order;

          Freedom of information comprehends both the right to transmit information on facts and ideas by any media, and the right of every person to receive such information without any limitation whatsoever;

          Whoever makes use of information media assumes a grave responsibility before public opinion and has the moral duty to respect the truth; and the attainment of the ends stated above requires these freedoms to be free of pressure or force of any kind;

          The Governments of the member states of the Organization of American States have agreed to conclude the following Convention:

Article I
The Contracting States, under the terms of this Convention, shall guarantee to the inhabitants of their respective territories the right to express their thoughts and opinions freely, as well as freedom of information and investigation.

Article II
Everyone has the right to express and freely disseminate his thoughts and opinions orally or in writing, or to employ, at his choice, printing, lithography, painting, sculpture, cartoons, engraving, the press, radio, television films, public address systems, or any other medium utilized or useful for the exercise of this right.  The exercise of this right precludes prior censorship guarantee, or pledge.

Article III
Everyone shall be free to seek, receive and communicate, without governmental or other interference, information and opinions from various sources in oral, written, printed or illustrated form, or by any other method presently established or that may be established.

Article IV
No Contracting State shall regulate or control the use or possible use of any means of communication in a manner that amounts to discrimination for reasons of political ideas, race, sex, language, or religion.

Article V
The Contracting States agree to respect, enforce respect for, and promote freedom of scientific technical and artistic investigation and, in general, all forms of cultural investigation.

Article VI
The Contracting States undertake to respect the right of free access to official and unofficial news sources equally for all journalists and news agencies, national and foreign, provided that, with respect to the latter, they are duly accredited for the performance of their professional duties in accordance with the law of the country where they are stationed.

They also undertake to provide them with facilities for the fulfillment of their professional duties, fully guaranteeing their freedom of action and movement, both in gathering information and in transmitting it inside and outside of the respective countries.

Article VII
1.  The Contracting States shall grant facilities for the acquisition of newsprint and machinery and supplies for use in the dissemination of ideas, as well an the implements required for radio broadcasting and television, or for dissemination by any other information medium.
2.  The Contracting States shall seek the adoption of measures to permit the entry into their respective territories, free of duty and advance permits or other formalities, of all kinds of books, magazines, newspapers, and pamphlets that are not contrary to morality, public order, and the security of the State, and that are not in violation of the copyright and related laws; as well as recordings, films, and other educational materials that are in accord with these same conditions.

Article VIII
Without impairment of the right of all persons to have access to many sources of information, no provision of this Convention shall limit the right of any Contracting State to adopt the measures required:

a.   To develop its national information agencies: and
b.   To prevent restrictive or monopolistic interference or agreements limiting the free flow of information and opinions.

Article IX
The Contracting States agree to introduce in their domestic, legislation such amendments as may be necessary for the effective application of the provisions of this Convention, and also undertake to establish effective measures imposing penalties for the criminal conduct of officials or persons who violate the provisions of the Convention.

Article X
The Contracting States undertake to transmit to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States the texts of their legislation relating to the provisions of this Convention, in order that they may be communicated to the other Contracting States.

Article XI
The exercise of the rights and freedoms established in the preceding articles implies duties and responsibilities and may therefore be subject only to such formalities, conditions, or restrictions, clearly defined by law and applied in conformity therewith, as are strictly necessary in a democratic society to uphold national security, territorial integrity, public order, or the prevention of crime, to prevent incitement to racial or religious strife, to protect the health, morals, reputation or rights of others, to prevent the disclosure of confidential information, or to guarantee the impartial administration of justice.  In no case, however, shall such formalities, conditions, or restrictions represent an abuse or distortion of power that shall prevent or restrict the legitimate exercise of such rights and freedoms, nor may they be used as the basis for restricting the right to criticize the government.

The Contracting States may regulate for technical necessities the installation and operation of radio and television stations, and any other process for disseminating ideas, which process, by virtue of its nature, may not be used in an unrestricted manner.

Article XII
In time of war or in any other grave national emergency, each Contracting State may adopt measures to suspend compliance with its obligations under this Convention, to an extent and for a duration strictly limited by the requirements of the situation.

Article XIII
This Convention shall neither limit nor modify the greater facilities for the exercise of the rights and freedoms contained herein that are granted in the law of any Contracting State or in any other convention to which that State may be a party.  Neither shall it impair other rights and freedoms related to those contemplated in this Convention that are recognized in the laws of any Contracting State or in any other convention to which the State may be a party.

Article XIV
This Convention shall be open for signature by the member states of the Organization of American States and shall be ratified by the signatory states in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures.

Article XV
The original instrument, the English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish texts of which are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Pan American Union, which shall send certified copies thereof to the governments for the purpose of ratification.  The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Pan American Union, which shall notify the signatory governments of such deposit and of the date on which the Convention enters into force.

Article XVI
This Convention shall enter into force among the ratifying states in the order in which their instruments of ratification are deposited.

Article XVII
This Convention shall be registered with the Secretariat of the United Nation through the Pan American Union.

Article XVIII
This Convention shall remain in force indefinitely, but may be denounced by any of the Contracting States upon notification given one year in advance, after which it shall cease to have effect for the denouncing state, but shall remain in force as among the other Contracting States.  The denunciation shall be communicated to the Pan American Union, which shall inform the other Contracting States.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned Plenipotentiaries, whose full powers have been presented and found to be in good and due form, sign the present Convention, in the name of their respective governments, in the city of on the day of nineteen hundred and sixty�

VII.  REPORT TO THE SECOND SPECIAL INTER-AMERICAN CONFERENCE

33.   During this period of work, the Commission considered The Report to the Second Special Inter-American Conference.

Pursuant to the Commission, taken at the Ninth Session, the secretariat prepared a second draft report in the light of observations made by the members up to December 1, 1964 based on the text of the original draft (Doc. 18-IX).

The text of the second draft presented to the Commission is entitled.  "Report submitted by Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to the Second Special Inter-American Conference" (Doc. 5-XI, Rev.).

34.   This document was carefully studied by the Commission during the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh meetings, and it was approved at the ninth meeting held on March 25, 1965.

35.   The report contains a preliminary chapter that gives a brief historical summary of the creation of this Inter-American organ, the election of its members, and the establishment of its directives, as well as of the sessions that it has held up to now.   The second chapter gives a brief description of the activities of the Commission since it began its work in compliance with the mandate to promote respect for human rights in the American states and to recommend measures tending to facilitate this respect.

36.   The third chapter of the report refers to the protection of human rights and the consideration of the Draft Convention on Human Rights prepared by the Inter-American Council of Jurists at its Fourth Meeting.  It also points out the relationship between fundamental human freedoms and the economic and social development of the Latin American countries advocated by the Alliance for Progress, the advisability of revising the Draft Convention prepared by the Inter-American Council of Jurists in 1959 in the light of new advances in the field of international protection of human rights and the possibility of convening a specialized conference to consider the final text of the Convention.

The third chapter also contains considerations regarding the strengthening of the Inter-American Commission an Human Rights and suggests a number of additional provisions in the Statute, which would permit this agency to promote certain fundamental human rights more effectively, in accordance with the Charter of the Organization, namely: the right to life, liberty, security and due process of law.

37.   Likewise the third chapter refers to the special procedure to be followed by the Commission in taking cognizance of and dealing with the cases submitted to it for consideration.

38.   The report has two appendices.  The first describes the actions of the Commission with respect to violations of human rights in American countries and the second the activities of the Commission related to its general work program

39.   The report was approved by the Commission at its ninth meeting, held on March 259 19�5.  It was also decided to transmit it to the Chairman of the Council of the Organization of American States so that it might be presented to the Second Special Inter-American Conference.

VIII.  COMMUNICATION TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

40.   At the third meeting of the present working period, the Commission decided to express to Mr. Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States, its satisfaction with his message to Congress on March 15, 1965, in defense of the right to vote for all the citizens of the country and it to this end, it requested the Chairman to send a message to this effect to the President of the United States of America.  The text of the communication is as follows:

 

March 18, 1965

The President of the United States of America
The White House
Washington, D.C.

Mr. President:

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, convened in Washington for its Tenth Regular Session, listened with deep satisfaction to your address on Monday night with its eloquent rededication of the Government and people of the United States to the "dignity of man and the destiny of democracy."

This Commission is charged by its Statute with promoting respect for human rights in the American Republics as embodied in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man approved in Bogota in 1948.

That Declaration assures to every citizen of these republics, among other rights, the "right to participate in the government of his country and to take part in popular elections," the "right to assemble peaceably," the "right to submit respectful petitions to any competent authority," and the "right freedom of expression." Therefore, we applaud, Mr. President, your determination to secure "to every American citizen an equal right to vote," and to preserve the right of free speech and the right of free assembly.  While sharing your nation�s revulsion over the recent events in Selma, Alabama, we take heart from your resolve to convert them into "a turning point in man�s unending search for freedom."

We endorse your sentiment that at the heart of the battle for equality is a belief in the democratic process" and that equality depends on "the force of moral right" and "on respect for law.

From your renewed dedication of the Government of the United States to "the struggle for human rights" we take fresh courage in our continuing endeavors to help make the promises of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man a reality in the daily lives of all the peoples of the Americas.

Respectfully,


Manuel Bianchi
Chairman, Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights

41.   The President of the United States replied to the communication of this Inter-American agency by a note addressed to the Chairman of the Commission on March 25, 1965 the text of which is as follows.

Dear Mr. Bianchi:

I just want you to know how much I appreciate your long and thoughtful telegram, It is heartening to have your approval of my Voting Rights Address to the Congress, and I appreciate your efforts in behalf of this important work.

(s) Lyndon B. Johnson

IX.  COMMUNICATIONS TO THE GOVERNMENTS AND TO THE COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION

42.   In accordance with the provisions of Article 36 of the Regulations of the Commission, it asked the governments of certain American countries for information, regarding concrete cases that were denounced to the Commission and reiterated previous requests made to some of those governments.

43.   As in previous sessions, the Commission resolved to send a note to the Chairman of the Council of the Organization of American States, informing him of the activities carried out by this agency during its Tenth Session.

X.  DATE AND PLACE OF THE ELEVENTH SESSION

44.   During it tenth meeting, the Commission decided to hold the Eleventh Session from October 4 to 25, 1965 and set Mexico City, in principle, as the place therefore.

The Commission also decided to send a note to the Government of Uruguay thanking it for its invitation to hold the aforesaid session in Montevideo, and explained that it was prevented from accepting because it had already been planned to hold the session in Mexico City.

XI.  CLOSING OF THE TENTH SESSION

45.   At the meeting held on March 26, 1965, the Chairman declared the Tenth Session closed.  He expressed his satisfaction at the work that had been accomplished and thanked the members of the Commission and the staff of the secretariat for their cooperation.

APPENDIX
DOCUMENTS OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS OEA/Ser.L/V

Document Number Title
OEA/Ser.L/V/II.1.1 DOCUMENTS OF THE TENTH SESSION
Doc. 1 Documentos de la Comisi�n Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, registrados  por la Secretaria hasta el 28 de abril de 1965
Doc. 2, Rev. Resumen de las comunicaciones recibidas por la Comisi�n Interamericana de    Derechos Humanos correspondientes al D�cimo Periodo de Sesiones
Doc. 3 Human Rights in the InterAmerican System
Doc. 4 Observaciones el Proyecto de Convencion Interamericana sobre libertad de expresion, de informacion y de investigacion
Doc. 5, Rev. Proyecto de Informe sometido por la Comisi�n Interamericana de Derechos Humanos a la Segunda Conferencia Interamericana Extraordinaria
Doc. 6 Informe sometido por la Subcomisi�n a la Comisi�n Interamericana de Derechos Humanos
Doc. 7

Draft Report on the political refugees in America

Doc. 8 Acta Resumida de la primera sesi�n celebrada el 15 de marzo de 1965
Doc. 9 Acta Resumida de la segunda sesi�n celebrada el 16 de marzo de 1965
Doc. 10 Acta Resumida de la tercera sesi�n  celebrada el 17 de marzo de 1965
Doc. 11 Acta Resumida de la cuarta sesi�n celebrada el 18 de marzo de 1965
Doc. 12 Acta Resumida de la quinta sesi�n celebrada el.19 de marzo de 1965
Doc. 13 Acta Resumida de la sexta sesi�n celebrada el 22 de marzo de 1965
Doc. 14 Acta Resumida de la s�ptima sesi�n celebrada el 23 de marzo de 1965
Doc. 15 Acta Resumida de la octava sesion celebrada el 24 de marzo de 1965
Doc. 16 Acta Resumida de la novena sesi�n celebrada el 25 de marzo de 1965
Doc. 17 Proyecto de Convenci�n Interamericana sobre libertad de expresi�n, de informaci�n y de investigaci�n
Doc. 18 Acta Resumida de la dgcima sesi�n celebrada el 2� de marzo de 1965
Doc. 19 Informe sobre la labor desarrollada durante el Decimo Periodo de Sesiones
Doc. 20 Informe del Secretario Ejecutivo sobre las labores desarrolladas por la Secretaria entre el Noveno y el Decimo Periodo de Sesiones