Honduras: State must Ensure Right to Peaceful Assembly
Ahead of massive popular mobilization and protests announced to take place as of 20 January, Amnesty International calls on the Honduran authorities to respect and protect the right to peaceful assembly life and physical integrity of protestors. The opposition has called for a week of protests at national level to reject the investiture ceremony scheduled to take place on 27 January.
“The excessive use of force that led to fatal victims and serious injuries since 29 November, is unacceptable and should not be repeated. Honduran authorities have the responsibility to protect people’s lives and rights; security forces must refrain from using firearms to control or disperse crowds. People must be allowed to exercise their right to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.
The use of force is an exception only for cases where non-violent measures are ineffective in preventing violence or other lawbreaking, and authorities must ensure it is strictly proportionate to the harm it seeks to prevent.
Information received by Amnesty International confirmed that Honduran security forces resorted to excessive force, including the use of lethal weapons, to disperse protests that took place in different locations since 29 November in response to the lack of transparency around the presidential election celebrated on 26 November.
According to the Ombudsperson, at least 31 people were killed. Hundreds of people were arrested or detained, and multiple cases of people injured by firearms or brutally beaten by security forces were also reported, as well as cases that could amount to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Amnesty International calls for a prompt and impartial investigation of all violent deaths and other cases of excessive use of force in the context of repression of the protests, and to bring to justice those suspected of criminal responsibility.
For further information, please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 or firstname.lastname@example.org