Honduras: Attack against ACI-PARTICIPA general coordinator, Hedme Castro’s daughter

17/01/2022
Urgent Appeal
en es

New information
HND 005 / 1121 / OBS 112.1
Intimidation /
Attack /
Threats
Honduras
December 30, 2021

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a programme coordinated by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH, received new information and calls for your urgent action concerning a situation in Honduras.

New Information:

The Observatory received with great concern information regarding the attack and intimidation of Hedme Yesenia Sierra Castro, daughter of Hedme Castro and general coordinator of the Asociación para una Ciudadanía más Participativa (ACI-PARTICIPA), which is a member organisation of OMCT’s SOS-Torture Network.

On December 22, 2021, at 7:00 p.m., Hedme Castro’s daughter was attacked in Tegucigalpa by an unidentified person while she was driving back to the house where she lives with her mother. Hedme Yesenia Sierra Castro noticed a dark van following her and approaching her vehicle without clearance, and pulled over to let the van pass. However, the driver drove the van to the left of her vehicle and got closer to her car, forcing her to make a sharp turn towards the shoulder and causing an accident that caused one of her tires to burst. The driver of the van fled the scene immediately. At the moment we publish this urgent call, Sierra Castro is unharmed and in good health.

The Observatory expresses deep concern regarding this attack and act of intimidation against Hedme Castro’s daughter. This is not an isolated incident; it is part of a pattern of attacks and threats against Ms. Castro for her work as a human rights defender: on the night between November 4 and 5 2021, a fire was detected in her home in Tegucigalpa. A few days before this fire, she had been obliged to change her residence due to security issues. Moreover, Ms. Castro’s daughter Hedme Yesenia Sierra Castro and ACI-PARTICIPA have been repeatedly threatened and endured acts of violence and intimidation from State authorities and unidentified aggressors due to their work in defence of human rights.

The Observatory urges Honduran authorities to immediately, exhaustively, and impartially investigate this attack against Ms. Sierra Castro to identify and prosecute the aggressors. It also urges the authorities to immediately implement the necessary measures to guarantee the security and physical and psychological integrity of Hedme Castro, her family, and the members of ACI-PARTICIPA.

Requested actions:

i. Immediately implement all necessary measures to guarantee the security and physical and psychological integrity of Hedme Castro, her family, and the members of ACI-PARTICIPA;

ii. Immediately open an impartial and exhaustive investigation on the scene of the attack against Hedme Castro’s daughter to identify the aggressors and judge them according to the law;

iii. Put an end to all attacks and harassment, including on the judiciary level, against Hedme Castro, members of ACI-PARTICIPA, and all human rights defenders in Honduras;

iv. Implement policies, including the public recognition from the president and other senior officials, recognizing the importance and legitimacy of the work conducted by human rights defenders in Honduras.

Addresses:

• Juan Orlando Hernández, President of Honduras. E-mail: diseloalpresidente@presidencia.gob.hn, info@presidencia.gob.hn
• Jackeline Ancheta, State Secretary of Justice Office, Human Rights, Governance and Decentralization. E-mail: observatorio@sdhjgd.gob.hn
• Oscar Chinchilla, District Attorney of the Republic. E-mail: suazog@mp.hn
• Danilo Morales, General Director of the Protection System of defenders of human rights, journalists, social communicants and justice operators. E-mail: proteccion.ddhh.hn@gmail.com
• Blanca Sarahy Izaguirre Lozano, National Commissioner for Human Rights. E-mail: consultorinternacionalhn1@gmail.com; central@conadeh.hn
• Rolando Edgardo Argueta Pérez, President of the Supreme Court. E-mail: cedij@poderjudicial.gob.hn; justiciaenaccion@poderjudicial.gob.hn
• Ambassador Mario Alberto Fortín Midence, Permanent Mission of Honduras at the United Nations in Geneva. E-mail: mission@hondurasginebra.ch
• Ambassador Roberto Ochoa Madrid, Honduran Embassy in Brussels. E-mail: ambassade.honduras@chello.be
• Ambassador Luis Cordero Montoya, Honduran Embassy in OAS. E-mail: honduras@oas.org

Please write to the Representatives of Honduras in your respective countries.

***

Geneva-Paris, December 30, 2021

Please inform us of any action you take, citing the code of this call (HND 005 / 1121 / OBS 112.1) in your responses.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was founded in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the FIDH. The programme’s mission is to intervene to prevent or solve concrete situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the Mechanism of European Union for Human Rights Defenders implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, send an email or call the emergency hotline:
• E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
• Tel. OMCT: +41 22 809 49 39
• Tel. FIDH: +33 1 43 55 25 18

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