Search
  • guapinolresiste

Guapinol: 75+ orgs call for freedom after 2 years of arbitrary detention in #Honduras

español aquí

At 2 years after arbitrary detention, organizations demand freedom for the 8 water defenders from Guapinol and Sector San Pedro in Honduras.


August 17, 2021


Honorable Rolando Argueta, President, Supreme Court of Justice of Honduras

CC: Honorable Criminal Chamber, Supreme Court of Justice of Honduras


Ref: Request for extension of the pre-trial detention of the environmental defenders of Guapinol and Sector San Pedro: Ewer Alexander Cedillo Cruz, José Abelino Cedillo Cantarero, José Daniel Márquez Márquez, Kelvin Alejandro Romero Martínez, Porfirio Sorto Cedillo, Orbin Nahuan Hernández, Arnol Javier Alemán and Jeremías Martínez.



Dear President of the Honorable Supreme Court of Justice and honorable members of the Criminal Chamber:


Cordial greetings on behalf of the institutions and organizations that we have followed with attention and concern the facts related to the reprisals taken against legitimate protest exercised by the Committee for the Defense of the Common and Public Goods of Tocoa. These reprisals include the prosecution and prolonged arbitrary detention of eight environmental defenders belonging to the Committee.


On August 26 of this year, the legal period of two years of preventive detention expires for the eight environmental defenders belonging to the Committee, detained since August 26, 2019 for the crimes of "aggravated arson" and "unjust deprivation of liberty".


In view of the end of the pre-trial detention period, on June 11, 2021, the Public Prosecutor's Office, through Prosecutor Humberto José Gonzáles Herrera, filed before the Sentencing Court of Trujillo a request for a detailed record on the date since which the eight human rights defenders have been serving the pre-trial detention measure, as well as the current status of the case, in order to request on July 29 before the honorable Sentencing Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice the extension of pre-trial detention for the defendants, pending the holding of the oral and public trial. The legal team of the defense filed two briefs with legal grounds to oppose this request, first before the CSJ on August 10 and a second brief before the Criminal Chamber on August 12.


With this letter, we respectfully request that the extension of pre-trial detention requested by the Public Prosecutor's Office be denied and that the eight defendants be able to continue the criminal proceedings in freedom.


The organizations signing this letter recall that in its Opinion number 85/2020 adopted on November 26, 2020, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention established that the deprivation of liberty of Ewer Alexander Cedillo Cruz, José Abelino Cedillo Cantarero, José Daniel Márquez Márquez, Kelvin Alejandro Romero Martínez, Porfirio Sorto Cedillo, Orbin Nahuan Hernández, Arnol Javier Alemán and Jeremías Martínez is arbitrary, inasmuch as:


91. The Working Group stresses that, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Covenant, the presumption of innocence and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law must be respected, which was clearly violated in this case. Furthermore, the source has established and the Government has not denied that the automatic preventive detention was applied to the eight defenders, which contravenes the right to the presumption of innocence, as well as article 9, paragraph 3, of the Covenant in accordance with general comment No. 3518. Moreover, the Working Group notes that the accused have been detained under this regime well beyond the time allowed by law and international provisions, the source having insisted that the judicial decision decreeing pretrial detention lacks due motivation to justify its application;


92. Furthermore, the Working Group notes that the court has not responded to the frequent requests for appeal and habeas corpus that have been filed, especially at a time when the defendants' health was at risk due to insalubrity and lack of care. The eight defenders were deprived of their right to an effective judicial remedy;


93. The Working Group concludes that the source has presented a credible and clear case about the violation of the elements guaranteeing a fair trial for the eight defenders, including the violation of their rights to equal treatment before the law, of the guarantee of non-discrimination and of the independence of the courts in following the cases brought against them;[1] 93.


For all these reasons, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention urged the State of Honduras to take urgent measures to guarantee the immediate release of the eight human rights defenders, to grant them the effective right to obtain both compensation and the necessary reparation for the violation of their rights, and to adopt the appropriate measures against those responsible for the violation of their rights.


Furthermore, in the context of the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the deprivation of liberty of the eight defenders poses a serious risk to their health and physical integrity in contravention of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (known as the Nelson Mandela Rules), especially with regard to persons detained or awaiting trial. In this context, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in its Resolution 1/2020 Pandemic and Human Rights in the Americas recommended to its member states: :


45. Adopt measures to address the overcrowding of prison units, including the reevaluation of pretrial detention cases to identify those that can be converted into alternative measures to imprisonment, giving priority to populations with higher health risks in the event of COVID-19 contagion.


In line with the opinion issued by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, as well as with the recommendations made by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the undersigned organizations of this letter call upon this honorable Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice to, in the exercise of its functions and with due respect for judicial independence, consider declaring the extension of preventive detention for the eight defendants to be unjustified and order the change of precautionary measure so that the defendants can continue the case against them in freedom, guaranteeing their rights to due process and to a fair and impartial trial.


[1] United Nations, Opinions adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at its 89th session, November 23-27, 2020. Opinion No. 85/2020, concerning José Daniel 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 (Honduras).

[2] Organization of American States, Resolution 1/2020 of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).


Christliche Initiative Romero e.V.

Alemania

Informationsgruppe Lateinamerika-IGLA

Austria

Red europea de Comités Oscar Romero

Bélgica

University of Guelph

Canada

Comité por los derechos humanos en America latina

Canadá

Colectiva Chancha Negra

Costa Rica

Frente Amplio

Costa Rica

Universidad Nacional

Costa Rica

Fundación Alboan

España

Universidad Complutense de Madrid

España

Justice in Mining Network

España

Entrepueblos-Entrepobles-Entrepobos-Herriarte

Estado español

Alianza Americas

Estados Unidos

Bay Area chapter of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador

Estados Unidos

Casa de Misericordia

Estados Unidos

Centro de Recursos Centroamericano (CARECEN-LA)

Estados Unidos

Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, CISPES

Estados Unidos

Conference for Mercy Higher Education

Estados Unidos

Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces

Estados Unidos

EarthRights International

Estados Unidos

Faith in Action

Estados Unidos

Harry J Bury Twin Cities Nonviolent

Estados Unidos

INation Media

Estados Unidos

Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity

Estados Unidos

Latin America Task Force of Interfaith Council for Peace &Justice

Estados Unidos

Latin America Working Group

Estados Unidos

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Estados Unidos

Mercy Focus on Haiti

Estados Unidos

Mothers & Others: Justice and Mercy for Immigrants

Estados Unidos

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

Estados Unidos

Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore

Estados Unidos

Pax Christi USA

Estados Unidos

School of the Americas Watch

Estados Unidos

Servants of Mary, US/Jamaica Community Council

Estados Unidos

SHARE FOUNDATION

Estados Unidos

Sister of Mercy

Estados Unidos

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas - Justice Team, Washington, DC

Estados Unidos

Social Justice Chair, Congregation Sherith Israel

Estados Unidos

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

Estados Unidos

University of San Francisco

Estados Unidos

Ursuline Sister of Louisville, Kentucky

Estados Unidos

Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective

Estados Unidos

Women Against Military Madness Newsletter

Estados Unidos

Dance for Joy

Estados Unidos

Dorchester Solidarity Network

Estados Unidos

Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim

Estados Unidos y Territorio Maya, Guatemala

Prensa Comunitaria

Guatemala

Asociación por la Democracia y los Derechos Humanos, ASOPODEHU

Honduras

Asonog

Honduras

Bufete Estudios para la Dignidad.

Honduras

Bufete Justicia para los Pueblos

Honduras

Centro De Prevención, Tratamiento Y Rehabilitación De Las Víctimas De La Tortura Y Sus Familiares (CPTRT)

Honduras

CIPREVI

Honduras

Comite de defensa de bienes comunes y publicos

Honduras

COPINH

Honduras

Equipo Jurídico por los Derechos Humanos

Honduras

ERIC-SJ

Honduras

Hermanas de Notre Dame

Honduras

La Insurrecta

Honduras

MILPAH

Honduras

Movimiento Amplio por la Dignidad y la Justicia

Honduras

Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, OFRANEH

Honduras

Pastoral Social y Ecológica

Honduras

Patronato pro mejoramiento Toronjal

Honduras

Programa Paso a Paso- Honduras

Honduras

Red Nacional de Defensoras de derechos humanos en Honduras

Honduras

Coordinadora de organizaciones Populares del Aguan , COPA

Honduras

Fundación San Alonso Rodríguez

Honduras

Parroquia San Isidro Labrador, Tocoa.

Honduras

Purificadora Comunitaria Buenos Aires

Honduras

Foro de Mujerse por la Vida

Honduras

Collettivo Italia Centro America, CICA

Italia

Organización Mundial Contra la Tortura (OMCT), en el marco del Observatorio para la Protección de Defensores de Derechos Humanos programa conjunto de la OMCT y de la FIDH

Internacional

FIDH, en el marco del Observatorio para la Protección de Defensores de Derechos Humanos programa conjunto de la OMCT y de la FIDH

Internacional

Iniciativa Mesoamericana de mujeres defensoras de derechos humanos

Mesoamerica

Protección Internacional Mesoamérica

Mesoamérica

El comite de solidaridad con America Latina

Noruega

Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional (CEJIL)

Regional

Due Process of Law Foundation

Regional

Alianza Centroamericana Frente a la Mineria

Regional

CIVICUS

Sudáfrica

Personas individuales y estudiantes de los Estados Unidos, Uruguay, Honduras

46 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All