Washington DC, Wednesday 29th October 2013.

The State of Honduras fails to comply with the implementation of protection measures for human rights defenders (HRD) at risk. For this reason, last Monday 28th October, state representatives appeared in a public hearing before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights in Washington D.C.

This hearing was requested by the Centre for Human Rights Research and Promotion (CIPRODEH), the Committee of the Families of Detained and Disappeared Persons in Honduras (COFADEH), the Team for the Reflection, Research and Communication of the Society of Jesus in Honduras (ERIC-SJ), Protection International (PI) and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL).

The participating organisations denounced the ineffectiveness of the interim and precautionary measures granted by the Inter-American Court and the Commission of Human Rights, after finding many shortcomings faced by the beneficiaries, who continue to be threatened. Likewise, punctual observations were made encompassing the various limitations and loopholes under the draft law named “Law on Protection for Human Rights Defenders, Journalists, Social Communicators and Justice Operators”, pending approval by the National Congress since august 2013. Finally some cases were highlighted, illustrating the risks that human rights defenders continue to face to the date in Honduras. Among others, special mention was made of the recent murder of Manuel de Jesús Varela Murillo, who was receiving protection measures.

The organisations called on national authorities to submit the above-mentioned draft law to a wide dialogue, in a participative and transparent way, for the purpose of establishing a mechanism to protect effectively human rights defenders. Finally, the CIDH was requested to visit Honduras to verify the reported risk situation, in order to provide appropriate recommendations.