Cesario Alejandro Félix Padilla Figueroa, journalism graduate, student leader, and board member and founding member of PEN Honduras, was convicted of ‘usurpation’ (‘usurpación’) at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras – UNAH) on 7 June 2017.
The conviction represents the culmination of a pattern of harassment that he has faced since 2014 for his part in student protests at UNAH, which called for an end to plans to privatise the university and for the democratisation of its governing bodies. Padilla Figueroa has faced ongoing harassment, including surveillance, in connection with his involvement with the protests.
PEN believes that Padilla Figueroa and other university students are being persecuted for exercising their right to freedom of expression, association and assembly, enshrined in the nation’s Constitution (Articles 72-75 and 79), as well as 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.
For further information, please visit the PEN International website.
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Share details of the cases against Cesario Alejandro Félix Padilla Figueroa with friends and family, in your local and national press and on social media. #ImprisonedWriter @penhonduras
Write to the Honduran authorities
Please send letters of appeal, urging the authorities to:
- Overturn the conviction of PEN Honduras member Cesario Alejandro Félix Padilla Figueroa, whom PEN believes is being prosecuted for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and assembly by peacefully participating in and observing student protests;
- End any unlawful surveillance of him and investigate his reports of unlawful surveillance;
- Take all necessary measures to ensure that UNAH students can exercise their right to peaceful protest. As the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has affirmed: ‘the right to publicly protest is an essential element of freedom of expression’;
- Decriminalise student protests and allow students to participate in UNAH’s decision-making bodies, and ensure that conflicts within the institution are resolved through inclusive dialogue, in accordance with Article 19 of the ICCPR and Article 13 of the ACHR, to which Honduras is a state party.
Abogado Óscar Fernando Chinchilla Banegas
Lomas del Guijarro
Avenida República Dominicana
Edifico Lomas Plaza II
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Roberto Herrera Cáceres
Comisionado Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CONADEH)
Colonia Florencia Norte
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Please copy your appeals to the Embassy of Honduras in your country. Details of Honduran embassies may be found here.
Please let us know of any actions you take and responses you receive via email@example.com or the comments box below. Thank you.