Honduras: PEN member faces imprisonment for student protests

PEN Honduras member Cesario Alejandro Félix Padilla Figueroa is facing immediate detention after a warrant was issued on 7 June 2016 for his arrest and that of five other students at the National Autonomous University of Honduras in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa. All six have been charged with ‘usurpation’ of university property after allegedly taking part in student protests. If convicted, they face up to five years in prison.

Padilla and some of the other students have reportedly also been subject to unlawful surveillance and harassment by criminal investigators in recent months. He and others have suffered reprisals since 2014 in connection to ongoing student demonstrations against the privatisation of the UNAH and calling for greater access to state education and student participation in governance of the university.

PEN believes that Padilla and his fellow students are being prosecuted for the exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and assembly, enshrined in the Honduran Constitution (Articles 72-75 and 79), as well as in the American Convention on Human Rights (Articles 13 and 15) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Articles 19 and 21) to which Honduras is a state party. We are urging the Honduran authorities to refrain from criminalising social protest and to drop the charges against Padilla.

For further information, please visit the PEN International website.

TAKE ACTION

Spread the word

Please share details of the case against Cesario Alejandro Félix Padilla Figueroa with friends and colleagues and on Facebook, Twitter and other social media

  • #Honduras: End harassment of @penhonduras member, Cesario Padilla, on trial for student protests

Messages of support

Messages of solidarity can be sent to Cesario Padilla via Tamsin Mitchell tamsin.mitchell@pen-international.org

Send letters of appeal

      • Urging the Honduran authorities to drop all changes against PEN Honduras member Cesario Alejandro Félix Padilla Figueroa, whom PEN International believes is being prosecuted for exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly by peacefully participating in and observing student protests;
      • Calling on them to protect Padilla and to investigate any unlawful surveillance of him;
      • Calling on them not to criminalise social protest or use the justice system to generate fear, censorship and silence among journalists, writers and others in Honduras.

Appeals to:

Public Prosecutor
Abogado Óscar Fernando Chinchilla Banegas
Ministerio Público
Lomas del Guijarro
Avenida República Dominicana
Edifico Lomas Plaza II
Tegucigalpa
Honduras
Email: mprelacionespublicas@gmail.com; multilateralddhh@gmail.com

National Human Rights Ombudsman
Dr. Roberto Herrera Cáceres
Comisionado Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CONADEH)
Colonia Florencia Norte
Boulevar Suyapa
Tegucigalpa Honduras
Email: despacho@conadeh.hn; herreracaceres@conadeh.hn

It is also recommended that you send a copy of your appeals via your nearest Honduran embassy.

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This content is published by the English PEN staff.

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