Urgent Action Update: WATER DEFENDERS CONTINUE IN JAIL (Honduras: UA 133.20)

August 17, 2021

Eight members of the Municipal Committee for the Defence of Common and Public Assets (CMDBCP) continue in pre-trial prison in Yoro (North Honduras) after two years for standing up in defence of protected water sources in danger by a mining project. The Attorney General Office requested the Supreme Court the extension of this preventive measure last July 29, 2021, despite the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declaring their detention as arbitrary and asking for their immediate release. We urge authorities to review the preventive detention of all eight defenders and take all necessary measures to immediately release them.

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TAKE ACTION:

  1. Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on October 12, 2021.
  2. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  3. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 133.20. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Óscar Fernando Chinchilla
Attorney General
Public Prosecutor’s Office Honduras
Edificio Lomas Plaza II, Col. Lomas del Guijarro,
Ave. República Dominicana,
Tegucigalpa, M.D.C., Honduras
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @ofchb ; @MP_Honduras
Ambassador Luis Fernando Suazo Barahona
Embassy of Honduras
1220 19th Street, NW, Suite #320
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202 699 7702
Twitter: @EmbHondurasUSA ; @LuisFSuazo
Facebook: @EmbHondurasUSA
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Attorney General,

I’m writing to express my deepest concern for the life and integrity of José Daniel Márquez Márquez, Kelvin Alejandro Romero Martínez, José Abelino Cedillo, Porfirio Sorto Cedillo, Orbín Nahúm Hernández, Arnold Javier Alemán, Ewer Alexander Cedillo Cruz and Jeremías Martínez Díaz, members of Municipal Committee for the Defence of Common and Public Assets (CMDBCP in Spanish) and defenders of the Guapinol river in Northern Honduras, who have been deprived of their liberty for two years.

On February 9, 2021, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared that the detention of the eight imprisoned defenders is arbitrary and asked for their immediate release. Previously, United Nations human rights experts recommended all states to consider alternatives to imprisonment, to reduce risks of spreading COVID-19, particularly for persons in pretrial detention or detained without legal basis.

Despite these demands, the Attorney General Office of Honduras requested the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Honduras to extend the pre-trial detention of the eight Guapinol defenders for six months, since the legal duration of this preventive measure is two years, and the trial has not been yet scheduled.

I urge you to immediately review the situation of the eight defenders who continue to be unfairly imprisoned after two years, and to take all necessary measures to immediately release them, 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.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES