24 January 2017 marked the seventh Day of the Endangered Lawyer. While this year’s focus will be on China, we also want to take this day as an opportunity to highlight the situation for lawyers in the countries where PBI works.
Lawyers challenging those responsible for human rights violations pay an extremely high price - they may have their work obstructed, be followed, watched, harassed, subjected to spurious prosecutions, killed or ‘forcibly disappeared’.
On the October 20 in Tegucigalpa members of COPINH and other civil society organisations held a peaceful demonstration outside of the Public Prosecutors’ office to demand transparency and justice in the case of the murder of Berta Cáceres. The demonstrators faced violent repression by the police forces present. Police fired water cannon and tear gas at the protesters. Hundreds of people were affected by tear gas fumes as they attempted to flee the scene. Those who found themselves within the reach of the security forces were kicked and beaten with batons.
With deep sadness and dismay, the PBI Honduras Project expresses regret at the loss of Gladys Lanza Ochoa, General Coordinator of the Visitacion Padilla Women’s Movement for Peace, “Las Chonas”, (Movimiento de Mujeres Por la Paz Visitación Padilla) and sends condolences to her family and loved ones.
Gladys had an inspiring career as a human rights defender in Honduras. She fought tirelessly for the rights of women (breaking the silence of impunity) and played a key role in the abolition of compulsory military service in the country.
On this International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances PBI recognises the challenges that victims of enforced disappearances face and celebrates their victories in achieving justice.
On the 8th and 9th June 2016, the second Periodic Review of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Honduras (CESCR) will take place in Geneva.In the previous review in May 2001, 26 recommendations were made to Honduras. However none of these recommendations made explicit reference to the situation regarding the defence of economic, social and cultural rights.
Invisible MandelasThe world woke up to the perils of defending human rights in Honduras last month with the tragic news of the murder of environmental activist Berta Cáceres. According to a recent study by Global Witness, Honduras is the most dangerous country in the world to be an environmental defender, with 111 murders reported between 2010 and 2015.