A joint observer mission of IADL, AAJ, the NLG and IACT travelled to Honduras

The joint mission of the American Association of Jurists (AAJ), the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL-IADL), the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and the International Association Against Torture (IACT) concluded an observer mission which lasted from August 26 to 30 regarding the crisis in Honduras.Mission members met with government officials, diplomats and representatives of various sectors and social movements.

The mission concludes that on June 28, 2009, the rule of law and the institutional order in Honduras were both interrupted. Furthermore, since that date serious and systematic violations of fundamental human rights, such as the right to life, physical integrity, freedom of expression and association, rights to health and work, have been committed in violation of the United Nations Charter, the UN Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights, the Inter-American Democratic Charter and other international instruments and covenants ratified by Honduras.

The mission also received reports of excessive use of force by the National Police and Armed Forces against civilians who express opposition to the coup and to the de facto government, for the return of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales, the restoration of the Rule of Law and the convening of a Constituent Assembly to review the Honduran Constitution. The mission received testimony of particular harassment and cruel and degrading treatment to women who have exercised their rights to freedom of expression to peacefully dissent against the coup. In addition they heard testimony regarding abusive treatment of children and the arbitrary detention and forced military recruitment by security forces in violation of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. The mission will report preliminary findings in coming days and then produce a detailed report.

Mission participants: Vanessa Ramos (President of the Continental AAJ, member of the bureau and IADL), Arthur Fournier Facio (President AAJ-Costa Rica), Emily Yozell (NLG and AAJ-Costa Rica), Gustavo Cabrera Vega (AAJ-Costa Rica and Service for Peace and Justice in Latin America, SERPAJ), Lucy Rodriguez (NLG), Kevin Breslin (NLG) and Roger Wareham (NLG and IACT).

Contacts:

Vanessa Ramos (VRamos1565@aol.com)

Jeanne Mirer (mirerfam@earthlink.net)

Marjorie Cohn (Libertad48@aol.com)

Susan Scott (syscott@prodigy.net)

Download press release: Honduras mission