Several Members of the European Parliament have expressed their concern over the prolonged pre-trial detention of Guapinol human rights defenders in Honduras amidst COVID crisis in a letter sent on April 6, 2020, in which they call on the authorities to stop all harassment against the defenders.

In their letter, the MEPs are concerned that the defenders are arbitrarily kept in detention, without legal justification, in reprisal for their peaceful human rights work in defense of the right to water.

Within the context of rising numbers of confirmed COVID 19 cases, a writ of habeas corpus claim was filed to the President of the Supreme Court of Justice, with no response yet. Furthermore, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has stated that “governments should release every person detained without sufficient legal basis, including political prisoners and others detained simply for expressing critical or dissenting views.”

The MEPs call the Honduran authorities to release the defenders currently in pre-trial detention, because of the risks they are facing in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, they call on the authorities to ensure all harassment against the defenders ceases.

Read the full letter here