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February 11, 2022

The Observatory for Justice of the Guapinol and San Pedro River Defenders welcomes the decisions held yesterday, February 10, 2022, by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Honduras. The decisions ruled on two outstanding amparos (requests for injunctive relief) presented by the environmentalists’ defense, which were supported by amici curiae briefs presented by the organizations of this Observatory.

These judicial orders corroborate what both the defense and the non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations that have followed the case have insisted for more than two years: that the criminal proceedings against the defenders have violated their rights to due process, to the presumption of innocence, and to personal freedom from arbitrary detention. We regret that the Honduran justice system has taken so long to recognize these anomalies, unjustifiably extending the defenders’ pre-trial detention, and causing unnecessary pain to their families and community.

In order to comply with the Supreme Court decisions, a first step towards redressing the stated violations, the Ministry of Justice must immediately release the six defenders who remain in detention. Additionally, the authorities must initiate the necessary judicial procedures to vacate the prior illegitimate decisions, per order of the Constitutional Chamber in its rulings, the highest authority binding all Hondurans.

The undersigned organizations call for prompt and total compliance with the orders issued by the Supreme Constitutional Chamber on February 10, 2022. Any unjustified delay in their implemention will constitute a further breach of the State's national and international obligations. We trust that the release of the detained defenders today and the full compliance of the Court orders will become immediately effective.

by the member organizations of this Observatory

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