Eight members of the Municipal Committee for the Defense of Common and Public Assets (CMDBCP), prisoners of conscience, continue in pre-trial detention in Yoro (North Honduras) after more than 28 months. Their arbitrary detention is solely for standing up in defence of protected water sources in danger by a mining project. The trial against the eight defenders restarted on January 13, 2022. We urge authorities to drop the charges against the eight human rights defenders and release them immediately and unconditionally.
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Dear Attorney General,
I’m writing to express my deepest concern for the life and integrity of prisoners of conscience José Daniel Márquez, Kelvin Alejandro Romero, José Abelino Cedillo, Porfirio Sorto Cedillo, Ewer Alexander Cedillo, Orbin Nahún Hernández, Arnol Javier Alemán
and Jeremías Martínez Díaz
, members of the Municipal Committee for the Defense of Common and Public Assets (CMDBCP in Spanish) and defenders of the Guapinol river in Northern Honduras, who have been wrongfully deprived of their liberty for more than 28 months.
After having reviewed all the evidence available, including the criminal proceedings against the Guapinol eight and videos related to the case, and spoken to witnesses as well as to the human rights community in Honduras, Amnesty International considers that they are being detained only because of their activities in defense of the right to clean water and a safe environment.
The trial of the Guapinol eight began on December 1, 2021 and resumed on January 13, 2022, after a court of appeals did not admit a recusal filed by the legal team of the eight defenders, and despite the Supreme Court having not yet decided on a writ of habeas corpus to challenge the extension to six more months of pre-trial detention in August 2021.
I urge you to drop the charges against the eight human rights defenders who continue to be unfairly imprisoned after more than two years, so that they are immediately and unconditionally released in compliance with the recommendations of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, in order to guarantee their right to life, health, liberty, freedom of expression and right to defend human rights.