Monday, 16 August 2010

Human rights violations in Honduras continue

Systemic State Sponsored Violations of Human Rights in Honduras


16 August 2010

The Committee of Relatives of Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH), reported today that there is state sponsored human rights violations in Honduras.

The statement issued by COFADEH is as follows:

The Committee of Relatives of Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH), expressed its concern (and condemnation) to the national and international community over systemic violations of human rights in the country will set precedence for continued state sponsored policy aimed at violating fundamental rights of different sectors of the country for the following reasons:

1: The COFADEH still receives complaints from different parts of the country that describe systemic attacks on leaders, trade unionists, peasants, journalists, youth organizations, members of the National Popular Resistance Front, and defenders of human rights.

2. The criminalization of social protest this week led to the use of repressive force by the state at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), which was not only a violation of the University’s autonomy but endangered the lives of thousands of students, left several seriously injured, poisoned by tear gas, and three students detained. All of this in order to disrupt the demands of union members of the UNAH, SITRAUNAH, which has maintained a hunger strike for over 100 days as a form of resistance.

3. We reiterate our concern for two groups that are subject to repression, teachers and youth, against whom actions are being planned to contain their just demands. Amongst these demands are for student bonds, and the taking to the streets by students from various high schools which has left around 21 students detained, most of them under age and from the institutes Jesús Aguilar Paz and Central Vicente Cáceres, in which police have entered thereby violating the law.

We denounce the constant death threats, persecution, and harassment against organized youth, proving that we are facing death squads, which operate when there is a state policy promoting the violation of human rights.

In regards to teachers, the constant threats to repress them for exercising their right to peacefully protest makes clear the panorama of persecution against the union.

4. We condemn the repressive actions by the National Police in the eastern zone of the country, who captured Juan Chinchilla the 4th of August, a member of the Unified Agrarian Movement of the Aguan (MUCA), illegally detained for 21 hours. The explanation that he was not wearing a seatbelt is an administrative offense.

We also repudiate the actions of the Transit Police in that area against the journalist René Rojas, who was handcuffed, displayed as a criminal in the Santa Rosa de Copan Park and assaulted by a policeman while detained at the police station. A traffic infraction was used as an excuse for detainment in this case as well. Rojas complained to the COFADEH that he has faced police persecution for two months, ever since denouncing the abuses of the Transit Police in that sector.

5. We cannot go without commenting on the situation which is taking place at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), where there are strong pressures that the UNAH no longer be the premier house of knowledge of Honduras, and we also denounce the strong economic interests that are behind this push.

6. Given all the facts that are reported to the COFADEH and through alternative media outlets, the True Commission, an initiative based on a Human Rights platform is preparing its actions not to compete and compare but rather to give the Honduran people one of the rights that continues to be violated: THE RIGHT TO KNOW THE TRUTH.


Committee of Relatives of Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH)

Translated by KGK from COFADEH: existe una política de Estado de violación sistemática a los derechos humanos