Honduras: Amnesty International warns President Hernández about the deployment of the Armed Forces during protests

The Honduran government must avoid excessive use of force and guarantee human rights during ongoing protests, Amnesty International said today in an open letter to President Juan Orlando Hernández.

“Amnesty International has received deeply alarming information about the indiscriminate use of tear gas, gunfire, and beatings by security forces, causing injuries to dozens of people. At least two people have been reported killed, and dozens of protesters and bystanders have been reported arrested or detained,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

“The Honduran authorities must not continue on the path of violence and repression. We urge the administration of Juan Orlando Hernández to guarantee the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly, and limit the use of force to a proportional minimum to avoid further injuries and deaths.”

“We remind President Hernández that, under international law, the Armed Forces must not participate in internal security activities, much less restrict or violate the right to demonstrate peacefully
said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International

In an open letter to President Hernández, Amnesty International has expressed its concern about the National Security Council’s decision on 20 June 2019 to deploy the Armed Forces, the police, and intelligence services in response to ongoing protests. This could lead to further excessive use of force against participants in the protests that began three months ago in response to health and education reforms.

“We remind President Hernández that, under international law, the Armed Forces must not participate in internal security activities, much less restrict or violate the right to demonstrate peacefully,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas.

The Committee for the Families of the Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH) has reported over 60 people injured between 29 April and 4 June 2019. According to government data, 19 people were injured in a single day of protests on Wednesday 19 June, including 16 by gunfire. Another two people have been reported killed, one by gunfire and the other by unknown causes.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Duncan Tucker: duncan.tucker@amnesty.org