IACHR Expresses Concern Over the Suspension of Guarantees in Honduras and Amplifies Precautionary Measures

Washington, D.C., July 3, 2009 – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is deeply concerned over the executive decree 011-2009 adopted by the de facto authorities in Honduras, through which fundamental rights have been restricted, such as personal liberty, allowing incommunicado detention for more than 24 hours, freedom of association and the right of assembly, as well as freedom of movement to leave, enter and remain in the territory of Honduras. The IACHR wishes to reiterate that the suspension of guarantees only proceeds in exceptional situations explicitly defined by the American Convention on Human Rights, and in no case may the suspension of personal liberty mean a limitation to the writ of habeas corpus or other adequate and effective remedies for the judicial review of the detentions, nor to the judicial guarantees essential for the protection of life and personal integrity. In addition, the IACHR decided on July 2, 2009, a new amplification of precautionary measures PM 196-09 in order to safeguard the life and personal integrity of persons in Honduras who, according to the information received, are at risk. The IACHR requested that necessary measures be adopted to assure the life and personal integrity of all of the beneficiaries. In respect to those who have been arbitrarily detained and/or whose whereabouts remain unknown, the Commission requested to be informed of their whereabouts immediately. In the case of those arbitrarily detained, the Commission requested that these individuals be freed immediately. Precautionary Measures 196-09 were originally granted in favor of Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas on June 28, 2009, and amplified on June 29, 2009, in favor of the other individuals, as informed through Press Release No. 45/09. The IACHR set a deadline of 48 hours to receive information about the implementation of these required measures. Through the same letter, the Inter-American Commission indicated that, in addition to the requirements set forth in the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, all other necessary measures should be adopted to assure the life and personal integrity of human rights defenders, journalists, family members of President Zelaya and the international observers present in Honduras. As it has in its previous statements, the IACHR directs this message to the President of the Congress and the President of the Supreme Court of Justice, authorities who remain in their posts following the coup d’état, due to the impossibility at this time of delivering this message to the constitutional President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, and the Foreign Minister, Patricia Rodas. Through the amplification decided today by the IACHR, the following persons are now included in precautionary measures 196-09: 1. Adriana Sivori, TeleSUR journalist; According to information received by the Commission, military forces arbitrarily detained her, confiscated her equipment and documents and took her to an unknown location; 2. Alan McDonald, cartoonist; According to information received by the Commission, he and his 17-month-old daughter were detained after soldiers allegedly ransacked his house and destroyed his cartoons; 3. Alejandro Villatoro, Radio Globo journalist; 4. Andrés Pavón Uribe, member of the Honduran Human Rights Committee; 5. Ángel Alvarado; member of the National Resistance Committee; 6. Arcadia López, Staff Minister in the Presidential House; 7. Bertha Oliva de Nativí, member of the Committee for Family Members of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras; 8. Carlos Eduardo Reina, member of the National Resistance Committee; 9. Carlos Humberto Reyes, member of the bloque popular; 10. Carlos Melano, assistant to President Zelaya; 11. Clyborn St. John, TeleSUR journalist; 12. Danny Reyes, director of the LGTB Rainbow Association of Honduras; According to information received by the Commission, he was taken to a political station on June 29, 2009; 13. David Ellner Romero, Canal 36/Radio Globo journalist; According to information received by the Commission, he was forcibly disappea


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