On February 9, 2021 the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention determined that the detention of the 8 Guapinol Water Protectors is related to their work in defense of the environment. Every new day that the Guapinol Water Protectors spend in prison is another violation of their human rights. At the same time, while the Honduran prosecution has not been able to gather evidence against the 8 Water Protectors, there is plenty of evidence that demonstrates the illegality of the Los Pinares mining project and the links of the government of Juan Orlando Hernandez with organized crime groups.
It also noted that the sanitary situation in the Olancho prison, where the activists are currently detained, only increases the vulnerability of the Guapinol Water Protectors to COVID-19. At least one of the Guapinol water defenders has been diagnosed with the virus, but the risk is imminent for the other 7 activists.
Demands for Honduran Authorities:
1. That the State of Honduras immediately release the 8 Guapinol defenders and follow the recommendations of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
2. That the National Penitentiary Institute take all necessary health measures to protect the lives of the 8 Guapinol water defenders. The Honduran State has the obligation to inform the families of the political prisoners about the state of health and the health situation of the activists.
3. That the National Human Rights Commission of Honduras (CONADEH) take urgent action to guarantee compliance with the resolution of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
Demands to US and Canadian representatives in Honduras
1. As diplomatic representative, ask for the release of the 8 Guapinol Water Protectors and demand that the Honduran government comply with the recommendations of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions.
2. Demand that the Honduran government guarantee all necessary health measures to protect the lives of the 8 Guapinol Water Protectors in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. Demand that the Honduran government put an end to arbitrary detentions and all violence against environmental defenders in Honduras.
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