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

OEA/Ser.L./V/II.7
Doc. 28 (English)
August 21, 1963

Original: Spanish



INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

REPORT ON THE WORK ACCOMPLISHED

DURING ITS SIXTH SESSION

April 16 to May 8, 1963



PAN AMERICAN UNION

General Secretariat, Organization of American States

Washington, D. C.



TABLE OF CONTENTS


Paragraphs Page

Organization of the Sixth Session 4

Opening date and length of session 1 - 4 4

Members of the Commission and their

participation in the session 5 5

Meetings and documents 6 - 9 5

Secretariat 10 - 11 5

II. Agenda 12 7

III. Report prepared by the Secretariat on the work

accomplished by the Commission during its

Fifth Session 13 - 14 8

IV. Report prepared by the Secretariat on the work

accomplished by the Commission during its

First Special Session 15 8

The report of the Executive Secretary on the

activities of the Secretariat between the Fifth

and Sixth Sessions of the Commission 16 - 17 8

VI. Violations of human rights in the American

countries 9

Report of the Subcommittee 18 - 21 9

The case of Paraguay 22 - 24 10

Report on the situation regarding

political prisoners and their

families in Cuba 25 - 29 10

The case of Nicaragua 30 - 33 11

The case of Haiti 34 - 39 11

VII. Visit to the Dominican Republic 40 - 46 13

VIII. Activities related to the general work program 17

Amendment of the Statute and

Regulations of the Commission 47 - 49 17

Preliminary draft convention on

"Freedom of expression, information,

and investigation" 18

Part II of the Report "The Relationship

Between Respect for Human Rights and

the Effective Exercise of Representative

Democracy 18

Part II of the Report "The Right of

Suffrage in America 50 18

IX. Other decisions and conclusions of the Commission 18

Fellowship Program 51 18

National Committees on Human Rights 52 18

Communications to the governments 53 18

Communication to the Chairman of the

Council of the Organization of American

States 54 18

Date and Place of the Seventh Session 55 19

Commemoration of the Fifteenth

Anniversary of the American Declaration

of the Rights and Duties of Man 56 - 58 19

Closing of the Sixth Session 59 20

Appendix - Documents of the Sixth Session 21

INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

REPORT ON THE WORK ACCOMPLISHED DURING ITS SIXTH SESSION

APRIL 16 TO MAY 8, 1963

I. ORGANIZATION OF THE SIXTH SESSION

A. Opening date and length of session

1. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights held its Sixth Session from April 16 to May 8, 1963, part of it taking place at its headquarters in the Pan American Union, Washington, D. C., and part in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The Subcommittee, which was created for the purpose of studying communications or claims directed to the Commission and to make pertinent recommendations thereon, met from April 10 to 13.

2. The opening meeting was held at 10 a.m. on April 16 in the Columbus Room of the Pan American Union, and was attended by the Secretary General of the Organization, Dr. José A. Mora, the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization, Dr. William Sanders, and the Director of the Department of Legal Affairs of the Pan American Union, Dr. Francisco V. Garcia Amador, as guests of honor.

3. After declaring the Sixth Session open, the Chairman of the Commission, Professor Manuel Bianchi, referred to the absence of Mr. Romulo Gallegos, member of the Commission, for reasons of health, and expressed a desire for his complete recovery. He pointed out that the agenda of the Sixth Session was of particular interest, inasmuch as the Commission should conclude the work it had begun at its Special Session in January, 1963, regarding the situation of political prisoners and their families in Cuba. He also stated that the Commission should concern itself with some of the problems affecting human rights in other countries of the hemisphere. He stressed the importance of the work that the Commission had been carrying on in accordance with its general work program, which included the "Draft Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information, and Investigation;" the report on the "Relationship Between the Respect for Human Rights and the Effective Exercise of Representative Democracy;" and the study on the right of suffrage in America. He stated that the Commission, despite its limited powers, had endeavored to fulfil, without deviating in the least from its Statute, the imperative mandate to "promote respect for human rights" in the Americas. He referred to the extraordinary encyclical of Pope John XXIII "Pacem in Terris," which contrary to some interpretations placed emphasis on liberty and human rights with absolute clarity. He expressed appreciation to the Secretary General of the Organization and other officials present at the meeting, and reiterated his satisfaction with the facilities provided by the General Secretariat for the normal progress of the work of the Commission.

4. The Secretary General of the Organization, in expressing his appreciation for the words spoken by the Chairman of the Commission, pointed out that the work performed by the Commission responded to the requirements of the American peoples, and that the organizations that were created with vitality and greatness, as was the case with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, could not be limited by the simple device of regulations. He expressed confidence that in the days to come this organization will extend its activities in behalf of human rights and the effective exercise of democracy. He repeated the offer of collaboration by the General Secretariat, and expressed his best wishes for the success of the Sixth Session.

B. Members of the Commission and their participation in the session

5. The Commission is composed of the following members:

Name Nationality

Mrs. Angela Acuna de Chacon Costa Rica

Dr. Manuel Bianchi Gundian Chile

Dr. Gonzalo Escudero Ecuador

Dr. Gabino Fraga Mexico

Mr. Romulo Gallegos Venezuela

Dr. Reynaldo Galindo Pohl El Salvador

Dr. Durward V. Sandifer United States

All members, with the exception of Mr. Romulo Gallegos, attended the Sixth Session.

C. Meetings and documents

6. During the Sixth Session the Commission held twenty-two meetings, fourteen at its headquarters in Washington, D. C., and eight in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

7. The Secretariat prepared the minutes of these meetings, which are restricted for the exclusive use of the members.

8. The Secretariat also prepared lists of the communications or claims received prior to the opening of the Session and during the Session, and in each case it attached a résumé of the contents. The list was compiled in chronological order and according to countries (Doc. 2-VI, Rev.).

9. In compliance with the decision reached by the Commission at its First Special Session, the Secretariat prepared a draft report on the situation of political prisoners and their families in Cuba, which served as a basis for the report published by the Commission on this subject (Doc. 4-VI).

D. Secretariat

10. The Commission was provided with the technical and administrative services of its Secretariat, composed of the Executive Secretary, Dr. Luis Reque, and Drs. Isidoro Zanotti, Ronald Scheman, Guillermo Cabrera, and Alvaro Gomez, officials of the Secretariat.

11. The Commission issued several press releases for the purpose informing the public of its activities through the Press Division of the Pan American Union, which provided public information services.

II. AGENDA

12. At its first meeting, held on April 16, 1963, the Commission approved the following agenda for the Sixth Session:

1. Report prepared by the Secretariat on the work accomplished by the Commission during its Fifth Session.

2. Report prepared by the Secretariat on the work accomplished by the Commission during its First Special Session.

Report of the Executive Secretary on the activities of the Secretariat between the Fifth and Sixth Sessions of the Commission.

4. Report of the Subcommittee regarding the communications or claims received.

5. Violations of human rights in American countries:

a. The case of Paraguay. b. Draft report on the situation of political prisoners and their families in Cuba. c. The case of Nicaragua.

d. The case of Haiti.

6. General work program:

a. Amendments to the Statute and Regulations of the Commission.

b. Draft "Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information, and Investigation," presented by Ambassador Gonzalo Escudero.

c. Part II of the Report "The Relationship Between the Respect for Human Rights and the Effective Exercise of Representative Democracy," presented by Professor Durward V. Sandifer.

d. Part 11 of the Report "The Right of Suffrage in America," by Professor Manuel Bianchi, Chairman of the Commission.

7. National Committees on Human Rights and Fellowship Program. Report of the Secretariat.

Communications to the governments and to the Council of the Organization of American States

. 9. Date and place of the Seventh Session.

10. Other matters.

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

13. At the first meeting, held on April 16, the Executive Secretary presented the report on the work accomplished by the Commission during its Fifth Session (Doc. 40-V). This report summarizes the work carried out between September 24 and October 26, 1962, during the aforesaid Fifth Session, and contains a report on the activities of the Commission with respect to violations of human rights in some of the American countries, particularly Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Paraguay.

14. This report also describes the work accomplished in accordance with the General Work Program, and the decisions taken by the Commission with respect to Rules of Procedure concerning the drafts and reports of the Commission; the preliminary draft "Convention on Freedom of Expression, Information, and Investigation" presented by Dr. Gonzalo Escudero, on "Rights of Suffrage in America," by Professor Manuel Bianchi, and the Second Part of the Report, "The Relationship Between the Respect for Human Rights and the Effective Exercise of Representative Democracy," by Dr. Durward V. Sandifer.

IV. REPORT PREPARED BY THE SECRETARIAT ON THE WORK

ACCOMPLISHED BY THE COMMISSION DURING ITS FIRST SPECIAL SESSION

15. At the second meeting, April 17, the Executive Secretary presented the report on the work accomplished by the Commission during its First Special Session (Doc. 18-I-SS). This document sets forth the work of the Commission from January 3 to 23, 1963, the period covered by the aforesaid Session, held partly at the Pan American Union, Washington, D.C. and partly in Miami. The report describes the consideration given by the Commission to the situation of human rights in some of the American countries, particularly Cuba, Nicaragua, and Paraguay, including the decisions reached in each case by the Commission, and a report on the activities carried out during its stay in Miami. The document also refers to the invitation of the Dominican Government to the Commission for the purpose of verifying on the spot the progress made in the field of human rights, and to the participation of five members of the Commission in the First Symposium on Representative Democracy which was held in Santo Domingo from December 17 to 22, 1962, at the invitation of the Dominican Government.

V. THE REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ON THE ACTIVITIES OF THE SECRETARIAT BETWEEN THE FIFTH AND SIXTH SESSIONS OF THE COMMISSION

16. At the second meeting, the Commission took cognizance of the report presented by the Executive Secretary on the activities of the Secretariat between the Fifth and Sixth Sessions (Doc. 9-VI). This document relates the work undertaken by the Secretariat as a result of the decisions taken by the Commission at its Fifth Session and First Special Session, stressing the importance of the action taken with respect to the request made to the Government of Nicaragua for consent to visit that country and the draft report on the situation of political prisoners and their families in Cuba.

The first document referred to above, namely, the document relative to the Republic of Nicaragua (Doc. 17-VI), contains the texts of the communications exchanged between the Government of Nicaragua and the Commission, the resolution of the Fifth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the "Appointment of Observers to Elections of High Authorities;" a project on the same subject, submitted by the Delegation of Nicaragua; and statements to the press made by high authorities of the Nicaraguan government regarding the possible visit of the Commission. This document is restricted.

With respect to the draft report on the situation of political prisoners and their families in Cuba, the report of the Secretariat points out that this draft was prepared on the basis of the information and communications received by the Commission, and the information and communications supplied to it during its visit to Miami.

The report also mentions the standard procedure followed with rect to the communications or claims received during this period, and the compilation of background information on the situation of human rights in some of the American countries. In this report, the Secretariat made particular reference to the draft regulations that were being drawn up, incorporating the decisions taken by the Commission during its seven sessions. Lastly, mention is made of the fellowship program and of the background material used by the rapporteurs in drafting the reports and studies whose preparation was entrusted to them by the Commission.

17. The report of the Secretariat was approved without modification, and the Commission recorded its congratulations for the manner in which the Secretariat had fulfilled the tasks that were assigned to it.

VI. VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE AMERICAN COUNTRIES

A. Report of the Subcommittee

18. The Subcommittee is composed of three members of the Commission

as follows:

Chairman Dr. Manuel Bianchi Gundian

Members Dr. Gonzalo Escudero

Dr. Durward V. Sandifer

19. In accordance with the Regulations, the Subcommittee met one week prior to the opening of the Session to make preliminary study of the communications or claims addressed to the Commission, and to prepare the draft Agenda of the Sixth Session.

20. At the conclusion of its discussions the Subcommittee issued a report (Doc. 3-VI), which was submitted to the Commission for consideration at the first and second meetings.

21. Bearing in mind the recommendations of the Subcommittee, the Commission decided to instruct its Secretariat to transmit the pertinent parts of those communications containing concrete denunciations of violations of human rights, to the governments concerned. Subsequently, the Commission also agreed to follow the same procedure with respect to the communications submitted for its consideration during the course of the meetings (Doc. 2-VI, Rev.).

B. The case of Paraguay

22. In accordance with the decision of the Commission at the First Special Session to postpone making a request for consent to the Government of Paraguay, in accordance with Article ll.c of its Statute until the Sixth Session the Commission continued to study the situation of human rights in that country during this session. 23. At the sixth meeting held on April 23, 1963, the Commission gave primary consideration to the communications or claims received regarding violations of human rights in the Republic of Paraguay. In this respect, it decided to transmit to the Paraguayan Government, the pertinent parts of communications that mentioned concrete violations of human rights, and at the same time to request the government to send the Commission any information that it deemed advisable. 24. During this meeting the Commission discussed the request to the Government of Paraguay for its consent to holding part of the session in that country.

On this point, the Commission agreed to ratify the decision taken at its Fifth Session to request this consent, and requested the Chairman, Dr. Manuel Bianchi, to enter into conversation with the Ambassador of Paraguay in Washington and in Santiago, Chile for the purpose of obtaining the consent of the Government of Paraguay to permit the visit of the Commission.

C. Report on the situation regarding political prisoners and their families in Cuba

25. The Commission continued to study the situation regarding human rights in Cuba at this Session, particularly with respect to political prisoners and their families.

26. In view of the increasing number of claims and complaints received on the poor treatment to which political prisoners and their families are subjected. and after considering the abundant and detailed information received in writing, the Commission during its First Special Session in January, 1963, decided to transfer its seat to Miami, Florida. in order to receive direct information on the subject. For that purpose. the Commission met in Miami from January 20 to 23, 1963, during which time it interviewed more than eighty persons (Doc. 18-I.SS)

27. In accordance with the decision taken by the Commission in that First Special Session, the Secretariat prepared a draft report on the situation regarding political prisoners and their families in Cuba, which was considered by the Commission at several meetings of the Session. Finally, the Commission unanimously approved the aforesaid report (Doc. 4-VI) at the meeting held on May 2, 1963.

The Commission decided to transmit this report to the Council of the Organization of American States in order to bring it to the attention of the governments of the American countries through that body. 28. The report contains a preliminary chapter that summarizes the procedure followed with respect to Cuba, citing the various communications exchanged between the Commission and the government of that country, and mentions its continuing interest in the situation regarding human rights in Cuba.

29. The remaining chapters are as follows: Chapter II, Right to protection against arbitrary arrest; Chapter III, Situation of the political prisoners in Cuba; Chapter IV, Situation of women in the political prisons of Cuba; Chapter V, Situation of the relatives of political prisoners in Cuba. The last section contains final considerations, which summarize the observations of the Commission.

D. The case of Nicaragua

30. As in the case of the Fifth Session and the First Special Session (Docs. 40-V and 18-I-SS), the Commission continued to concern itself with the situation regarding human rights in Nicaragua during the Sixth Session.

31. During the fifth meeting, in accordance with Article 28 of its Regulations, the Commission decided to transmit to the Government of Nicaragua the pertinent parts of the communications or claims received that concerned concrete violations of human rights.

32. At the same meeting the Commission took cognizance of the discussion that took place on February 7, 1963, in the Council of the Organization with regard to the note transmitted to the Chairman of the Council by the Commission, referring to the denial of the Government of Nicaragua to the Commission to hold a part of its special Session in January 1963, in that country. The Commission decided to place on record its appreciation to Ambassador Gonzalo Escudero for his defense of the action of the Commission in the case, and unanimously agreed to adopt as its own the expressions of Ambassador Escudero in that session of the Council of the Organization.

33. In accordance with instructions received from the Commission at the First Special Session, the Secretariat prepared a document entitled "Documents and Information Concerning the Request for the Consent of the Government of Nicaragua" (Doc. 17-I-SS). After studying this document, the Commission decided that it should be restricted, and, at the same time requested the Secretariat to compile the information received on the situation regarding human rights in Nicaragua. The Commission agreed to continue to study the case of Nicaragua at its next session.

E. The case of Haiti

34. The Commission studied the situation regarding human rights in Haiti at its sixth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and seventeenth meetings, held on April 23 and May 2, 3, and 6, respectively.

35. At the sixth meeting the Commission studied the communications or claims sent to it on violations of human rights in Haiti. In accordance with the terms of its Regulations, the Commission agreed to deal with them in the prescribed manner.

36. At the thirteenth and fourteenth meetings, the Commission granted interviews to two Haitian citizens who had expressed a desire to appear before the Commission for the purpose of elaborating on their written denunciations. During the course of these interviews, the Haitian citizens discussed fully the situation regarding human rights in their country and furnished pertinent documents.

37. As a result of the information and complaints that had been received on serious and repeated violations of human rights in Haiti, the Commission at its seventeenth meeting agreed to request once more, in accordance with Article ll.c of its Statute, the consent of the Government of Haiti to hold a part of the Sixth Session in that country. As a consequence of this decision, the Commission sent the following cable to the Government of Haiti:

May 7, 1963

HIS EXCELLENCY

RENE CHALMERS

SECRETARY OF STATE FOR

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

PORT-AU-PRINCE

THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, DEEPLY CONCERNED OVER REPORTS AND COMPLAINTS IT HAS RECEIVED IN WASHINGTON DC, AND PARTICULARLY BY THOSE TRANSMITTED TO IT IN THAT CITY BY PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS AND REPRESENTATIVES OF ASSOCIATIONS ON MAY 2 AND 3, 1963, ON SERIOUS AND REPEATED VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS THAT TOOK PLACE IN HAITI, COINCIDING WITH RECENT AND SUPPORTING INFORMATION APPEARING IN THE CONTINENTAL PRESS, WISHES TO REQUEST AGAIN, IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE ll.c OF THE STATUTE, THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF HAITI TO HOLD PART OF THE PRESENT SESSION TN HAITIAN TERRITORY. IN THIS RESPECT I WISH TO REMIND YOUR EXCELLENCY THAT, AFTER THE GOVERNMENT OF HAITI'S DENIAL, OCTOBER 11, 1962, OF THE FIRST REQUEST FOR CONSENT SENT BY THE COMMISSION ON SEPTEMBER 26 OF THE SAME YEAR, I SENT YOUR EXCELLENCY A NOTE ON OCTOBER 16, 1962, STATING THAT THE COMMISSION HAS THE AUTHORITY TO TRAVEL, AFTER PERMISSION IS RECEIVED FROM THE RESPECTIVE GOVERNMENT, TO THE TERRITORY OF ANY AMERICAN STATE, AND THAT THE EXERCISE OF ITS POWERS IN THIS CASE DOES NOT SIGNIFY ANY INTERFERENCE TN THE INTERNAL MATTERS OF AN AMERICAN STATE THAT MIGHT AFFECT ITS SOVEREIGNTY AS HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED BY THE AMERICAN STATES THEMSELVES, AMONG THEM HAITI, WHEN THEY CREATED COMMISSION AT THE FIFTH MEETING OF CONSULTATION OF MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND APPROVED ITS STATUTE ON MAY 25, 1960. I SHALL GREATLY APPRECIATE AN IMMEDIATE REPLY TO THIS COMMUNICATION, BY CABLE, FROM YOUR EXCELLENCY. ACCEPT SIR THE RENEWED ASSURANCES OF MY HIGHEST CONSIDERATION.

MANUEL BIANCHI

CHAIRMAN

38. The government of Haiti replied by cable on May 10, denying the request for consent in the following terms:

MR. MANUEL BIANCHI, CHAIRMAN

INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

PAN AMERICAN UNION

WASHINGTON, DC

I HAVE THE HONOR TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE RECEIPT OF YOUR CABLE OF MAY 7, 1963, REGARDING THE REQUEST OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION OF HUMAN RIGHTS TO HOLD A PART OF ITS PRESENT SESSION IN HAITI. I WISH TO POINT OUT ONCE MORE THAT THE COMMISSION'S REQUEST COULD BE INTERPRETED AS A FORM OF INTERFERENCE IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF HAITI; A THREAT TO ITS SOVEREIGNTY AT A TIME WHEN THE HAITIAN GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE ARE FACED WITH A TRUE INTERNATIONAL CONSPIRACY. THEREFORE I REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT MY GOVERNMENT, AFTER TAKING DUE COGNIZANCE OF THE MATTER, DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT IT SHOULD GIVE ITS CONSENT. MY HIGHEST CONSIDERATIONS.

CLOVIS DESINOR

ACTING SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

39. The Commission took cognizance of the refusal by the Government of Haiti at its twenty-second meeting, and resolved to inform the Council of the Organization of American States, acting as a Provisional Organ of Consultation, of its deep concern about the situation regarding human rights in that country, and of the refusal of the Government of Haiti to permit the Commission to examine on its own territory the reports it had received of serious and repeated violations of human rights. Pursuant to this decision, the Commission sent a note on May 14 to the Chairman of the Council.

VII. VISIT TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

40. During the course of this Session the Commission transferred its headquarters temporarily to the Dominican Republic, from May 4-9, 1963, holding eight meetings, including the closing meeting of its Sixth Session, in Santo Domingo.

41. The reason for the visit was a complaint addressed to the Commission on April 5, 1963, signed by the leaders of four political groups, alleging violations of human rights by the police of the country. The text of the report is as follows:

April 6, 1963

SECRETARY GENERAL

ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES

WASHINGTON, DC

LAST NIGHT THE "RAHINTEL" TELEVISION STATION WAS ATTACKED BY CIVIL AGENTS OF THE SECURITY SERVICE ARMED WITH MACHINE GUNS DURING A NEWS PROGRAM DIRECTED BY NEWSPAPERMAN RAFAEL BONILLA AYBAR, AN OPPONENT OF THE GOVERNMENT, OPENING FIRE AND WOUNDING THE PRESIDENT OF THE DOMINICAN INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATION, HORACIO ALVAREZ, AND HIS SON. THIS ACT ENDANGERED THE LIVES OF POLITICAL LEADERS OF DEMOCRATIC PARTIES AND A LARGE NUMBER OF PERSONS ATTENDING THE PROGRAM. LATER BONILLA WAS ARRESTED. WE VIGOROUSLY PROTEST THIS VIOLATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW AND OF HUMAN RIGHTS MENTIONED IN THE OAS CHARTER. DOMINICAN PEOPLE ALARMED AND INDIGNANT AT THE UNLAWFUL BEHAVIOR OF GOVERNMENT AGENTS BECAUSE IT CONSTITUTES A BREACH OF CONSTITUTIONALITY.

UNION CIVICA NACIONAL: DR VIRIATO FIALLO, PRESIDE.NT ALIANZA SOCIAL DEMOCRATA: DR JUAN ISIDRO JIMENEZ GRULLON, PRESIDENT NACIONALISTA REVOLUCIONARIO DEMOCRATICO: MIGUEL A. RAMIRES, PRESIDENT DEMOCRATA CRISTIANO: DR. MARIO READ VITTINI, DELEGATE

42. On April 23, 1963, the Commission received a communication from the Government of the Dominican Republic, inviting it to travel to the Dominican Republic, in order to check in its own territory whether the acts reported were true. The text of this communication is as follows:

April 23, 1963

Mr. Chairman:

I have the honor to refer to the report that appeared in the April 11, 1963, issue of the newspaper "El Caribe," which is published in Santo Domingo. This news item informs the public that several Dominican political parties have reported the violation of human rights in the country to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States. The aforementioned newspaper also publishes the text of a cable that Dr. José A. Mora sent in reply to the political leaders' message, informing them that the matter has been referred to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

In accordance with instructions I have received, I wish to inform you, as I have already stated to the Secretary General of the Organization, that the Government of the Dominican Republic will be pleased to receive a visit from the Commission over which you preside, and will offer it every facility, in order that it may verify on our territory the accusations that have been made.

Accept, Sir, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.

Arturo Calventi

Ambassador, Acting Representative

Dr. Manuel Bianchi

Chairman of the Inter-American

Commission on Human Rights

Pan American Union

Washington, D. C.

43. In accordance with a decision taken on April 26, 1963, and after requesting authorization, the Commission decided to travel to the Dominican Republic on May 4. All of the members participated in the visit, and the Commission was installed in the El Embajador Hotel in Santo Domingo.

44. On Sunday, May 5 the Commission began its meetings and approved the agenda. Subsequently it held interviews with the President of the Republic and other high Dominican authorities; it heard the testimony of the persons who signed the report, and received written and tape recorded versions of the charges made.

45. After giving careful consideration to all the information received, the Commission reached the following conclusions: 1) That it would refrain from qualifying the acts denounced in the aforementioned cable, and particularly the political aspects that such acts could imply, because of the conviction that the clarification of these acts properly belonged to the administration of justice of the Dominican Republic, and also because the Attorney General of the republic had informed the Commission that the investigation of these acts was in the stage of preliminary court proceedings; and 2) That the Commission clearly understood the full significance of the trust shown by the Dominican government in inviting it to meet again in Santo Domingo, and that it hoped that the Dominican people would continue to enjoy the benefits of representative democracy recently reestablished and of the human rights upon which the existence of democratic government depends. Based upon these conclusions, the Commission on May 20, 1963, sent the following communication to the Government of the Dominican Republic:

May 20, 1963

Mr. Secretary:

On April 6, 1963, Dr. Viriato A. Fiallo, President of the Union Civica Nacional; Dr. Juan Isidro Jiménez Grullon, President of the Alianza Social Democrata; Mr. Miguel A. Ramirez, President of the Partido Nacionalista Revolucionario Democratico; and Dr. Mario Read Vittini, Delegate of the Partido Democrata Cristiano, sent the following cable to the Secretary General of the Organization:

"Last night the "Rahintel" television station was attacked by Civil Agents of the Security Service armed with machine guns during a news program directed br newspaperman Rafael Bonilla Aybar, an opponent of the government, opening fire and wounding the President of the Dominican Industrial Association, Horacio Alvarez, and his son. This act endangered the lives of political leaders of democratic parties and a large number of persons attending the program. Later Bonilla was arrested. We vigorously protest this violation of constitutional law and of human rights mentioned in OAS Charter. Dominican people alarmed and indignant at the unlawful behavior of government agents because it constitutes a breach of constitutionality."

This communication was referred by the Secretary General to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

In accordance with Article 28 of the Regulations, the Commission transmitted a copy of this communication to you on April 26 last, requesting you at the same time to provide any information that you considered appropriate.

On April 23 last, Dr. Arturo Calventi, Acting Representative of the Dominican Republic on the Council of the Organization, informed the Commission in accordance with instructions he had received that the Dominican government would be pleased to receive the visit of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and that it would offer every facility in order that the Commission might examine, on Dominican territory, the charges that had been made.

In a note sent to Ambassador Arturo Calventi on April 26, 1963, the Commission stated its intention to travel to the Dominican Republic, and for this purpose, in strict compliance with Article ll.c of its Statute, it requested your government to give its prior consent to this visit.

As you are aware, the Commission held a part of its Sixth Session in Santo Domingo, May 5-9, and in accordance with its Statute, took cognizance during that time of the charges mentioned in the aforementioned cable.

Mr. Andrés A. Freites

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The Commission refrains from qualifying the acts reported in the aforementioned cable,

particularly the political aspects that such acts could imply, because of the conviction that the clarification of these acts properly belong to the administration of justice of the Dominican Republic, and furthermore, because the Attorney General of the Republic has informed the Commission that the investigation of these acts was in the stage of preliminary court proceedings.

The Commission understands quite clearly the full significance of the trust shown by the Dominican government in inviting it to meet again in Santo Domingo. The Commission hopes that the Dominican people will continue to enjoy the benefits of representative democracy recently reestablished, and of the human rights upon which the existence of democratic government depends.

Accept, Sir, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.

(Sgd.) Manuel Bianchi Gundin, Chairman Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

46. At the conclusion of its visit to the Dominican Republic and after closing the Sixth Session, the Commission issued a press release to inform the public on the work accomplished.

VIII. ACTIVITIES RELATED TO THE GENERAL WORK PROGRAM

A. Amendment of the Statute and Regulations of the Commission

47. At its nineteenth meeting, held on May 7, the Commission considered the topics relating to the amendment of its Statute and Regulations.

48. With respect to the broadening and strengthening of its powers, in accordance with the draft it submitted to the Council of the Organization in October 1960, Ambassador Escudero reported that this matter was still being considered by the Committee on Juridical Political Affairs, of the Council, that he had personally submitted draft amendments to that Committee for consideration, but that in view of certain opposition to his draft he had decided to withdraw it, and that, notwithstanding the mandate of the Eighth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs to broaden and strengthen the powers of the Commission, there still appeared to be some opposition to broadening the powers of the Commission.

49. With respect to the amendment of the Regulations of the Commission, the Executive Secretary reported that the Secretariat had prepared a document containing the revised draft Regulations, which would be distributed among the members of the Commission at the earliest possible moment. The Commission agreed that the Secretariat should proceed to publish the aforesaid document and transmit it to the members of the Commission for their observations. Ambassador Escudero proposed that an article be incorporated in this draft regarding the appointment of subcommittees. This proposal was approved.

B. Preliminary draft convention on "Freedom of expression, innformation and investigation."

C. Part II of the Report "The Relationship Between Respect for Human Rights and the Effective Exercise of Representative Democracy."

D. Part II of the Report "The.Right of Suffrage in America."

50. In view of the visit that the Commission had to make to the Dominican Republic, it decided to postpone the consideration of topics B, C, and D until the Seventh Session.

IX. OTHER DECISIONS AND CONCLUSIONS OF THE COMMISSION

A. Fellowship Program

51. In his report on the activities of the Secretariat during the Fifth and Sixth Sessions (Doc. 8-VI), the Executive Secretary referred to the report of the Secretariat that was submitted at the previous Session, which stated that an item was included in the Budget of the Pan American Union for 1963-1964 to initiate a course on human rights in the Instituto de Derecho Comparado de Mexico (Institute of comparative Law, Mexico). If this item is approved by the Council of the Organization, the aforementioned course will be given in late 1963 or early 1964.

B. National Committees on Human Rights

52. In the report mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the Executive Secretary informed the Commission of the action taken by the Secretariat with respect to the National Committees on Human Rights. In compliance with the decision of the Commission at its Fifth Session, the Secretariat had written to several organizations for the purpose of exchanging ideas and information that might lead to useful cooperation.

C. Communications to the governments

53. In accordance with the decisions taken at the third, ninth, and fourteenth meetings of this Session, held on April 18 and 26 and May 3, respectively the Commission, pursuant to Article 28 of the Regulations, wrote to the governments of some of the American countries requesting information on alleged violations of human rights in their territories.

D. Communication to the Chairman of the Council of the Organization of American States

54. As in its preceding sessions, the Commission decided during the twenty-second meeting, held on May 8, to send a note to the Chairman of the Council of the Organization of American States, Ambassador Gonzalo Facio, informing him of the work accomplished by the Commission during its Sixth Session.

E. Date and Place of the Seventh Session

55 In accordance with the communication addressed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile to the Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Manuel Bianchi, to the effect that the Government of Chile would be pleased to have the Commission hold its forthcoming session in Santiago, Chile, the Commission decided at the twelfth meeting, held on May 1, to fix Santiago as the site of the Seventh Session, and to open the said session on October 7, 1963. It was agreed that the Subcommittee would begin its work on October 2. In accordance with this decision, the Commission sent the following cable to the Government of Chile: `

May 1, 1963

HIS EXCELLENCY

CARLOS MARTINEZ SOTOMAYOR

MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

SANTIAGO (CHILE)

INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, BEING INFORMED THAT YOUR GOVERNMENT WOULD BE PLEASED IF THE COMMISSION AGREED TO HOLD ITS SEVENTH SESSION IN SANTIAGO, CHILE, IN OCTOBER 1963, UNANIMOUSLY DECIDED, IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE ll.c OF ITS STATUTE, TO TRANSFER ITS SEAT TO SANTIAGO CHILE DURING THE AFORESAID MONTH. IN APPRECIATING THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS AUTHORIZATION THE COMMISSION HAS ENTRUSTED ME TO EXPRESS, THROUGH YOUR EXCELLENCY, ITS DEEPEST APPRECIATION TO YOUR GOVERNMENT.

MANUEL BIANCHI

CHAIRMAN

F. Commemoration of the Fifteenth Anniversary of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man

56. At the first meeting, held on April 16, the Commission agreed to commemorate the Fifteenth Anniversary of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, which was approved in 1948 at the Ninth International Conference of American States, held in Bogota.

57. For this purpose, the Council of the Organization of American States held a Protocolary Meeting, attended by the members of the Commission, on May 2.

Speakers at that meeting were the Chairman of the Council of the Organization, Ambassador Gonzalo Facio; the Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Manuel Bianchi; and the Secretary General of the Organization, Dr. Jose A. Mora. The Texts of these addresses are contained in Document 29, dated June 21, 1963.

58. The Commission, at its first meeting, decided to publish a report, as part of the aforementioned commemoration, on the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and on the work of the Commission since it began its activities. In compliance with this decision, the Secretariat prepared a draft outline of the aforementioned report, entitled "The American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights," which was approved by the Commission.

G. Closing of the Sixth Session

59. During the twenty-second meeting, which was held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on May 8, 1963, the Commission decided to delegate its functions to a subcommittee that, after returning to the permanent seat of the Commission at the Pan American Union, in Washington, D. C., would take cognizance of the matters left pending after the Sixth Session. At the same meeting, the Chairman declared the Sixth Session of the Commission adjourned.

APPENDIX

DOCUMENTS OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

(OEA/Ser,L/V)

Document Number Title

OEA/Ser.L,/V/II.7 DOCUMENTS OF THE SIXTH SESSION

Doc. 1 Documentos de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, registrados por la Secretaria hasta el 21 de junio de 1963

Doc. 2-Rev. Resumen de las comunicaciones recibidas por la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, correspondiente el Sexto Periodo de Sesiones

Doc. 3 Informe sometido por la Subcomisión a la Comision Interamericana de Derechos Humanos

Doc. 4 Informe sobre la situation de los presos politicos y sus familiares en Cuba

Doc. 5 Acta resumida de la primera sesión celebrada el 16 de abril de 1963 (Aprobada por la Comisión en la tercera Sesión celebrada el 18 de abril de 1963)

Doc. 6 Acta resumida de la segunda sesión celebrada el 17 de abril de 1963 (Aprobada por la Comision en la sexta sesión celebrada el 23 de abril de 1963)

Doc. 7 Acta resumida de la tercera sesión celebrada el 18 de abril de 1963 (Aprobada por la Comisión en la quinta sesión celebrada el 22 de abril de 1963)

Doc. 8 Informe del Secretario Ejecutivo sobre las actividades de la Secretaria entre el Quinto y Sexto Periodos de Sesiones

Doc. 9 Acta resumida de la cuarta sesión celebrada el 19 de abril de 1963 (Aprobada por la Comisión en la sexta sesión celebrada el 23 de abril de 1963)

Doc. 10 Acta resumida de la quinta sesión celebrada el 22 de abril de 1963 (Aprobada por la Comisión en la séptima sesión celebrada el 24 de abril de 1963)

Doc. 11 Acta resumida de la sexta sesión celebrada el 23 de abril de 1963 (Aprobada por la Comisión en la octava sesión celebrada el 25 de abril de 1963)

Doc. 12 Acta resumida de la sexta sesión celebrada el 24 de abril de 1963 (Aprobada por la Comisión en la décima sesión celebrada el 29 de abril de 1963)

Doc. 13 Acta resumida de la octava sesión celebrada el 25 de abril de 1963 (Aprobada por la Comisión en la décima sesión celebrada el 29 de abril de 1963)

Doc. 14 Acta resumida de la novena sesión celebrada el 26 de abril de 1963 (Aprobada por la Comisión en la décimatercera sesión celebrada el 2 de mayo de 1963)

Doc. 15 Acta resumida de la décima sesion celebrada el 29 de abril de 1963 (Aprobada per la Comision en la décimasegunda sesión celebrada el 1 de mayo de 1963)

Doc. 16 Acta resumida de la décimaprimera sesión celebrada el 30 de abril de 1963 (Aprobada per la Comisión en la décimatercera sesión celebrada el 2 de mayo de 1963)

Doc. 17 Acta resumida de la decimasegunda sesión celebrada el 1 de mayo de 1963 (Aprobada por la Comisión en la décimacuarta sesión celebrada el 3 de mayo de 1963)

Doc. 18 Acta resumida de la décimatercera sesión celebrada el 2 de mayo de 1963 (Aprobada per la Comisión en la décimaséptima sesión celebrada el 6 de mayo de 1963)

Doc. 19 Acta resumida de la décimacuarta sesión celebrada el 3 de mayo de 1963 (Aprobada per la Comisión en la decimaséptima sesión celebrada el 6 de mayo de 1963)

Doc. 20 Acta resumida de la décimaquinta sesión celebrada el 5 de mayo de 1963

Doc. 21 Acta resumida de la décimasexta sesión celebrada el 5 de mayo de 1963

Doc. 22 Acta resumida de la décimaséptima sesion celebrada el 6 de mayo de 1963

Doc. 23 Acta resumida de la décimaoctava sesión celebrada el 6 de mayo de 1963

Doc. 24 Acta resumida de la décimanovena sesión celebrada el 7 de mayo de 1963

Doc. 25 Acta resumida de la vigesima sesión celebrada el 7 de mayo de 1963

Doc. 26 Acta resumida de la vigésimaprimera sesión celebrada el 8 de mayo de 1963

Doc. 27 Acta resumida de la vigésimasegunda sesión celebrada el 8 de mayo de 1963

Doc. 28 Informe sobre la labor desarrollada durante an Sexto Periodo de Sesiones

Doc. 29 Textos de los discursos pronunciados por el Presidente del Consejo de la Organizacion, el Presidente de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos y el Secretario General de la Organizacion, con motivo del XV Aniversario de la Declaración Americana de los Derechos y Deberes del Hombre