Honduras: Lenca Indigenous leader Pablo Hernández assassinated

20/01/2022
Urgent Appeal
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HND 001/ 0122/ OBS 003
Murder
Honduras
January 19, 2022

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH, requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Honduras.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has received with deep concern information about the murder of the Lenca indigenous leader Pablo Hernández, land and environmental defender, president of the Network of Agroecologists of the Cacique Lempira Señor de Las Montañas Biosphere, director of Radio Tenán, "La Voz Indígena Lenca", member of the Network of Human Rights Defenders of the department of Lempira and promoter of the Indigenous and Peoples’ University.

On January 9, 2022, unknown persons killed Pablo Hernández with firearms in the municipality of San Marcos de Caiquín, department of Lempira. Following his denunciations as a community journalist of human rights violations and acts of corruption by the administration of the municipality of San Marcos de Caiquín, which were allegedly linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, Pablo Hernández was the target of attacks and threats, which he publicly denounced. Similarly, in February 2021, the electrical installation of Radio Tenán, "La Voz Indígena Lenca" was sabotaged by unknown persons, preventing the broadcast of radio programmes. Despite these attacks, which were allegedly in retaliation for his work to denounce abuses and defend human rights, the authorities did not take any measures to guarantee Mr Hernández’s safety.

The Observatory strongly condemns the killing of Pablo Hernández and expresses its utmost concern about the climate of persecution and attacks against those who defend the land, the environment, and the human rights of indigenous peoples in Honduras.

The Observatory urges the Honduran authorities, in particular the Police Investigation Directorate and the National Police, to immediately, thoroughly, and impartially investigate the murder of Pablo Hernández in order to identify those responsible and apply the sanctions provided by law.

The Observatory urges the competent authorities to take the necessary measures to ensure the security and physical and psychological integrity of all human rights defenders in Honduras, and to implement policies of protection and public recognition of the legitimate work they carry out.

Action requested:

Please write to the authorities in Honduras urging them to:

i. Carry out an independent, immediate, exhaustive and impartial investigation into the murder of Pablo Hernández, in order to identify the intellectual and material perpetrators, bring them before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply the criminal and/or administrative sanctions provided by the law. The investigation should prioritise the hypothesis that this crime is the result of his activities as a human rights defender, as established by international human rights standards;

ii. Immediately adopt all necessary measures to guarantee the safety and physical integrity and psychological well-being of all human rights defenders in Honduras;

iii. Put an end to all types of attacks and harassment, including at the judicial level, against all human rights defenders in Honduras;

iv. Implement policies of recognition, including public recognition by the President of the Republic and other high-level officials, of the importance of the legitimate work carried out by human rights defenders in Honduras.

Addresses:

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

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Honduras in your respective countries.

***

Geneva-Paris, January 19, 2022

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

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

To contact the Observatory, please contact the hotline:
● E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
● Tel. OMCT: + 41 22 809 49 39
● Tel. FIDH: + 33 1 43 55 55 25 18

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