PERSONAL SAFETY OF DETAINEES AT RISK: CAMPESINOS ARRESTED AFTER PROTEST VIOLENTLY CRUSHED ARE BEING HELD INCOMMUNICADO BY TIGRE BONILLA´S SUBORDINATES
The physical safety of Aguan campesinos, arrested when their protest was violently crushed, is under at risk. They are being held incommunicado in Metropolitan Police District Number One by the subordinates of Juan Carlos Bonilla, Minister of Security, in yet another act which breaches all legal norms, given that, only seconds before; a conciliation act had been signed in Metropolitan Police District Number Five, on Tuesday, 21 August.
These 25 men and two women were arrested under torture and subjected to cruel abuses and serious threats, including forced disappearance, if they continued to exercise their right to peaceful protest.
This act, which shows that there is a super power in Honduras which favours the big landowners, took place in the night after the Public Prosecution Service (Fiscalía) had already stated that it would not bring charges as these were misdemeanors which should be subject to conciliation before a judge.
However, this was all a smokescreen to hide the real intention, which was to send the campesinos to prison, campesinos who had come to the capital to condemn the corruption of the Court of Appeal Judges of La Ceiba and Francisco Morazán who had overturned a ruling returning land which legitimately belonged to campesinos in the Despertar, San Isidro y La Trinidad cooperatives in the Aguán.
Once the conciliation act was signed, Commissioner Bonilla, Chief of Metropolitan Police District Number One, high-handedly removed the human rights defenders, judges and public prosecutor (fiscal) and ordered the detainees to get into patrol vehicles without informing them of where they were being taken, an act which has all the characteristics of a kidnapping. The patrol vehicles were followed by the friends and relatives of the detainees, who saw them being taken inside Metropolitan Police District Number One station which nobody was allowed to enter. It is feared that their lives could be in danger.
COFADEH calls on the world for human rights organizations and international protection bodies to do everything necessary to ensure the detainees are rescued alive.
A meeting had been planned in the morning with the President of the Supreme Court, but when the time came, it was stipulated that the legal representatives of the landowner, Miguel Facussé, had to be present, which the campesino leadership considered dangerous, as in the meeting, they would be reporting on illegal acts by the Court of Appeal Judges of La Ceiba and Francisco Morazan, including malfeasance favouring the big landowners.
Although no meeting was held with the campesinos, the Court did hold one with Miguel Facussé´s legal representatives, while the campesinos were set upon by the police, leaving dozens tortured and 27 illegally detained.
Such is their level of vulnerability that habeas corpus was requested, it being an illegal detention. When the investigating judge (jueza ejecutora) arrived, she behaved arrogantly, not speaking to the detainees and closeting herself for a long time with the head of La Granja police station. She then held interviews with the detainees in Police District Number Five in Belén neighborhood, practically pressuring them to plead guilty.