Press Release

IACHR and OHCHR-Honduras Reject Violence in Honduras

April 30, 2019

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María Isabel Rivero
IACHR Press and Communication Office
Tel: +1 (202) 370-9000

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Tegucigalpa / Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Honduran branch of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reject the violence that took place in the context of recent demonstrations in Honduras, after the National Congress passed the Act to Restructure and Transform the Healthcare and Education System.

The OHCHR and the IACHR are following events and call on all authorities to respect the exercise of citizen rights in social protests. They also ask demonstrators who demand that their rights be respected to do so peacefully and to refrain from all acts of violence. Both institutions note that protest organizers must not be held responsible for other people’s violent behavior.

According to information that the OHCHR and the IACHR have had access to, recent violence has left at least three people injured in Tegucigalpa, including one with gunshot wounds. Both institutions have seen videos available on social media and on television that show armed men who are not wearing uniform in the city center, near sites where security forces had previously been deployed. The OHCHR and the IACHR ask Honduran authorities to launch prompt, expeditious and impartial investigations into that violence and to adequately report to the Honduran people the results of those investigations.

Finally, considering that further demonstrations are planned for the coming days, the OHCHR and the IACHR stress that the State of Honduras must protect at all times the exercise of the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of thought and expression, and also the right to participate in the management of public affairs and to stand up for rights. Both institutions note the suspension of legislative decrees that has been announced concerning the Act to Restructure and Transform the Healthcare and Education System. The OHCHR and the IACHR call for further debate on proposed healthcare and education reforms and ask that such debate involve broad social groups, which is crucial for a well-functioning democracy as well as to protect human rights.

On May 4, 2015, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the government of Honduras signed an agreement to set up a branch of the OHCHR in the country. With the aim of improving the enjoyment of human rights in Honduras, that branch independently monitors the human rights situation in the country, gives advice to Honduran State institutions and civil society organizations, and disseminates information about human rights.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 106/19