MIAMI, June 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — In a unanimous decision, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (OHCHR) has ruled that Ecuadorian brothers Roberto and William Isaías’ civil rights were violated by the Government of Ecuador and that due process was not afforded to them when their businesses were confiscated by the State. As compensation, the Committee has ordered full restoration of their seized properties, which includes 14 media outlets, and a public apology by the Government of Ecuador. Additionally, Ecuador was asked to publish the Committee’s opinion and distribute it widely inside the country.
“This ruling shows that our innocence will always prevail when our case is analyzed through a transparent process. The abuse and persecution we have endured as victims of President Correa and his government has now been confirmed by the United Nations,” said Roberto Isaías. “The judges’ findings prove that a violation of our civil rights and a violation of our right to due process was clearly present and the order for reparations shows that the confiscation of our assets was illegal. We very much appreciate the dignity with which this panel of multinational judges studied our case,” he added.
In its official statement, the Committee also ruled that a constitutional amendment directed at the Isaías Brothers titled Mandate No. 13, which expressly forbade the filing of legal actions for the protection of their constitutional rights in response to the expropriation of the their assets and also instructed the dismissal of any judge who would hear any action on this matter, violated Isaías’ rights under Article 14(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
This ruling provides an impartial judicial lens to the pervasive nature in which the Correa government has violated its citizens’ human and civil rights over the last decade, including the appropriation of private business, interference in the judicial system, and the abrogation of freedom of the press through the confiscation of media assets.
For more than a decade, Roberto and William Isaías have been the targets of an aggressive campaign of political, economic and judicial persecution, in addition to the confiscation of their media assets, which included four radio stations, three newspapers, three magazines, and four television stations.
In March 2013, unable to obtain a fair trial in their native country of Ecuador due to the implementation of Mandate 13, Roberto and William Isaías filed a complaint with the OHCHR against the government of Ecuador detailing the political persecution and human and civil rights violations they had suffered due to the lack of judicial due process and appropriation of assets by the Government of Ecuador.