Date: May 22, 2020
Antonio Saadipour | Program Assistant
Washington, D.C. – Today, a group of international civil society organizations released a joint statement urging the Honduran government to end its excessive use of force by security forces and cease the restrictions and abuses that make it difficult for human rights defenders and journalists to carry out their vital work. As part of its mandatory lockdown, the Honduran government suspended constitutional guarantees, including freedom of expression and assembly, which has since resulted in the arbitrary detention of thousands of citizens. Reprisals against and restraints on the activities of human rights defenders and journalists have made it difficult for them to monitor and defend the rights of those detained. This has shifted attention away from a new Penal Code being introduced in the country which would make it harder to prevent, expose, and prosecute corruption while setting a dangerous precedent for journalists and human rights defenders.
“We urge the Honduran government to immediately end the excessive use of force which has resulted in people who are simply trying to survive being shot, tear gassed, beaten, or detained. Instead, the government should apply sensible precautions to protect the population from the pandemic with an understanding of people’s urgent needs and respect for human rights. The Honduran government should serve its citizens in this emergency without corruption or favoritism. The government should be aware that the international community is watching,” stated Lisa Haugaard, co-director of the Latin America Working Group (LAWG).
“Instamos al gobierno hondureño a que ponga fin inmediatamente al uso excesivo de la fuerza, lo cual ha ocasionado que aquellos que simplemente están tratando de sobrevivir sean víctimas de disparos, gases lacrimógenos, golpes o detenciones. En cambio, el gobierno debe aplicar precauciones razonables para proteger a la población de la pandemia con una comprensión de las necesidades urgentes de las personas y respeto por los derechos humanos. El gobierno hondureño debe servir a sus ciudadanos en esta emergencia sin corrupción ni favoritismo. El gobierno debe ser consciente de que la comunidad internacional los está observando”, indicó Lisa Haugaard, co-directora del Grupo de Trabajo sobre Asuntos Latinoamericanos (LAWG).