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Honduras: Amnesty International demands justice for the Guapinol eight

After two months on trial in Tocoa, northern Honduras, against the eight prisoners of conscience, José Daniel Márquez, Kelvin Alejandro Romero, José Abelino Cedillo, Porfirio Sorto Cedillo, Ewer Alexander Cedillo, Orbin Nahún Hernández, Arnol Javier Alemán and Jeremías Martínez Díaz, known as “the Guapinol eight”, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the legal teams of the eight defenders and the company Inversiones Los Pinares (ILP) are due to present their conclusions on 4 February. The court is expected to issue a sentence immediately afterwards.

“The Guapinol eight should not spend one more day in prison, as the available evidence has shown us that they stand accused of crimes they did not commit. They are victims of arbitrary detention and unfounded criminal prosecution stemming solely from their human rights work. The Public Prosecutor’s Office must not only drop the charges against them and call for their immediate release, but also carry out an independent, impartial and thorough investigation to identify and bring all those responsible for violating their human rights to justice,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

The unjust imprisonment of the Guapinol eight for more than two years is a clear attempt to criminalize and intimidate those who legitimately defend the right to water and a healthy environment in Honduras

Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International

Amnesty International is today publishing a letter it sent to the Attorney General of Honduras, Oscar Fernando Chinchilla, on 11 December 2021. In the letter, the organization expressed its concerns about serious irregularities in the investigation and prosecution of the Guapinol eight, concluding that the criminal charges against them, as well as their prolonged pre-trial detention, were unjustified and constitute a misuse of the justice system. To date, Amnesty International has not received a response to the recommendations contained in the letter.

“The unjust imprisonment of the Guapinol eight for more than two years is a clear attempt to criminalize and intimidate those who legitimately defend the right to water and a healthy environment in Honduras. The Honduran judiciary’s ruling must be fair and subject to due process. The Guapinol eight must be released immediately and unconditionally,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Duncan Tucker: [email protected]