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CCR Welcomes Release of Honduran True Commission Report, Condemns Continuing Attacks on Human Rights Defenders

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press@ccrjustice.org

October 3, 2012, New York – In response to the release of a report today by the Honduran True Commission, the alternative commission established to investigate and document the coup d’etat of June 28, 2009 and human rights violations that have followed it, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement:

We congratulate the True Commission on the publication of this historic report, which documents the severe human rights crisis following the 2009 coup d’etat.
 
The True Commission has had to work under dangerous and difficult circumstances to document these human rights abuses, including threats and attacks against its investigators and staff. The danger has been so great that  at times the commission’s investigators required the assistance of foreign human rights observers to accompany them. The attacks on those in political opposition to the coup and the resulting regimes have continued to escalate in the three years since the rupture in democracy. United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay recently described a pervasive “menacing climate of insecurity and violence” where “human rights defenders have been targets of threats, harassment, physical assault and murder.”
 
We mourn the most recent deaths of two human rights lawyers who were major figures in the resistance movement and the struggle for human rights and accountability and who were murdered within a day of each other. The killings of Antonio Trejo Cabrero, a lawyer representing peasant cooperatives, on September 23rd, and Manuel Eduardo Díaz Mazariegos, a special prosecutor for human rights, on September 24th , are chilling reminders that the crisis is not over, and impunity still rules the day in Honduras. We hope that foreign leaders will take note of this report and cease turning a blind eye to the atrocities being committed in Honduras even today.
The True Commission was established by the Platform for Human Rights as an alternative to the official Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was widely seen as part of the post-coup government’s efforts “to whitewash those responsible for the coup and its violent aftermath,” in the words of prominent human rights defender Bertha Oliva, director of the Committee for the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras.  The Center for Constitutional Rights has represented the True Commission in its efforts to obtain information and documentation about the coup from the U.S. government through Freedom of Information Act requests and litigation. CCR also represents the family of Isis Murillo, a youth shot and killed by the Honduran military shortly after the coup. For more on these cases and CCR’s advocacy, please visit: http://www.ccrjustice.org/honduras-coup.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.